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Analysis - 'Playing with confidence'


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1999128457.jpgYossi Benayoun could not contain his delight at scoring his first Chelsea goal in the Blues' stunning 6-0 demolition of Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

The Israeli captain scored the sixth as Chelsea registered a second successive 6-0 drubbing after also having beaten new boys West Bromwich Albion by a similar margin at Stamford Bridge on the opening day. It was his first competitive goal for his new club, though he was indebted to the quick-thinking of flying full-back Paulo Ferreira.

'I remember everyone running to the near post,' the ex-Liverpool man recalls. 'But Paulo made a clever pass so for me it was very easy to score. It's great for me, it's a good feelings always to score the first goal.'

Despite his evident joy, Benayoun maintained that a good team performance and a victory was the priority on Saturday evening. '6-0 was a convincing win away from home and this has lifted the confidence of the team. The players played well, especially in the second half when most of us had more confidence.'

Someone who did not entertain the same thoughts was Latics manager Roberto Martinez, though despite his team's second half capitulation, was full of praise for the table-topping champions. 'They are a very talented side, and know how to act when they are not playing at their best. The top five teams all know how to play when in the lead. The scoreline does not reflect what happened out there.'

Martinez' comments were true - Chelsea were second-best for large periods of the first half, with Florent Malouda's goal coming largely against the run of play. This was echoed in the post-match thoughts of Didier Drogba, who claimed the Blues were fortunate to lead at half-time. 'We scored six but we suffered a lot in the first half, so I think the game was difficult and the fact that we scored quickly in the second half made it easier for us.

Blues' boss Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with the team's performance and magnitude of victory but was quick to dismiss any chance of complacency creeping in. 'Today we battled well, but it is impossible to think we are always to score six goals in a game, this is not real football, this is Playstation.'

Ancelotti praised his strikers but it was the defence who he first congratulated: 'I think at that time we defended very well, we didn't give Wigan the opportunity to score and we waited for the right time to score. In the first half we had a lot of difficulty on the pitch and were not able to play our football because there was no space.'

'We have started this season very well and scored lots of goals. But we must maintain our concentration and keep playing good football and prepare for the next teams,' the Italian added. 'Today we played well but we must stay focused.'

Salomon Kalou summed up the performance perhaps better than any of his colleagues. Having scored two goals after coming off the bench, the Ivorian stated that 'the champions have to scare the other teams. I hope that after these two games the teams we play will be afraid of Chelsea.' A penny for Tony Pulis' thoughts, anyone?

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There is most certainly a lot of confidence at the moment and rightly so, we playing as well as you could ask for at the moment. Hopefully it won't breed overconfidence but with Carlo i really don't think that will happen. If we take each game as it comes and work to play our way then we are going to be such a big threat this season. We have set down a big marker and now we have to keep going with that.

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The great thing about Ancelotti is he instils a maturity about the players; I don't think he would ever condone complacency. Carlo is a professional and that rubs off on his players.

+1. If there's one thing Carlo has brought to this squad, it's humility and a real team spirit. You can see the gentlemanly way in which Carlo conducts himself and it rubs off on the players. The broadcaster here for the Wigan game had Kerry Dixon as one of the pundits and he was saying the same thing.

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