Chelsea FC manager Carlo Ancelotti does not want his side dwelling on thoughts of avenging their 2008 UEFA Champions League final loss to Manchester United FC when the two clubs are reunited in this season's quarter-finals.
United claimed the spoils three years ago, prevailing on penalties following a 1-1 draw, and memories of that rain-soaked encounter at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow are sure to loom prominently over their last-eight tie. Still AC Milan coach at the time, however, Ancelotti feels the only true revenge for Chelsea would be to progress all the way to the Wembley final on 28 May and lift the trophy for the first time in their history.
"I don't have to have revenge because I was not there, but for my players I don't know," he said. "I don't think it's a good motivation to have revenge. It would be fantastic motivation to look forward to the future. We have four games to play to reach the final in London and I think that if Chelsea are able to reach the final there, we could have good revenge for 2008. I don't want to consider the past; the past is the past and every game has a different story."
With Chelsea nine points behind United in the Premier League, though possessing a game in hand, Ancelotti knows his charges are in for a thorough examination as they attempt to set up a semi-final with FC Internazionale Milano or FC Schalke 04. "I'm not happy, I'm not disappointed – I'm realistic," he said. "We will be excited to play against them, very excited because also we have to play in the Premier League. It'll be difficult, obviously, but we want to move on and reach the semi-finals."
Sir Alex Ferguson's men are expecting a tight pair of games as well, with Chelsea looking to build an advantage at Stamford Bridge on 6 April before the decider at Old Trafford six days later. "They're two very important games," said striker Javier Hernández, whose two goals against round of 16 opponents Olympique de Marseille earned United their last-eight place.
"We play in the same league and it is going to be tough," he added. "It always is against Chelsea. It's a little bit of an advantage that we're at home in the second game. We know it won't be easy but we try to win every game we play at Manchester United – and Chelsea are another team that we need to beat."
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