Chelsea FC stalwarts Frank Lampard and John Terry pinpointed the impact manager Carlo Ancelotti has made after their FA Cup final win against Portsmouth FC gave the club its first double in the Italian's maiden campaign in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Didier Drogba scored the only goal at Wembley, leaving Lampard to praise the work done by the former AC Milan coach. "He has moulded into the Chelsea way straightaway and his tactics have been spot on," said the England midfielder, who spurned the chance to make it 2-0 by missing a late penalty. "The entertaining football we play and the way he acts as a man – that has been really impressive."
Ancelotti's side wrapped up the Premier League title last Sunday with an emphatic 8-0 victory over Wigan Athletic FC and were big favourites to become the seventh club to win the English double going into the showpiece against Portsmouth, who finished bottom of the top-flight. However, despite numerous first-half chances, the Blues were still level when Pompey were awarded a 56th-minute spot-kick. Kevin-Prince Boateng squandered the golden chance and Drogba pounced soon after.
Captain Terry said Ancelotti's influence had been "incredible", adding: "A big credit goes to him. He has made a big impression on the players and brought a real aura to the club." Chelsea hit the woodwork five times in the first half without scoring, something Ancelotti himself admitted had "never happened in my career", and while Terry said "David James's save from Didier was incredible" for one of those near misses, his confidence in his team-mates never wavered. "We have belief in ourselves to go until the end and we got the result."
Lampard was also keen to highlight just how seminal the Londoners' triumphs have been this term. "People always talk about this club and the Champions League block, but you can't take away the double," the 31-year-old added. "This is a huge achievement in English football. Chelsea had never done it and now it's the most successful season in the club's history."
Another piece of history was created after left-back Ashley Cole won his sixth FA Cup, becoming the most decorated player in the competition's history and drawing praise from his skipper. "To retain the cup is a great achievement," Terry said. "The likes of Ashley who goes down the record books – he showed that hunger to keep going."
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