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Ancelotti regrets missing chance to renew old rivalry

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was looking forward to crossing swords with his Ipswich Town counterpart in tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie at Stamford Bridge before Roy Keane was sacked yesterday.

The 39-year-old Keane, who had been at Ipswich since April 2009, left with the Championship club 19th in the table after seven defeats in their last nine games.

Ancelotti has not forgotten the night in Turin in 1999 when a fired-up Keane scored for Manchester United in a classic Champions League semi-final against his Juventus side.

"I was excited about the chance to meet Roy Keane for a long time because I was the manager of Juventus when he gave me disappointment because he scored in the semi-final of the Champions League," Ancelotti said yesterday.

United trailed 2-0, and 3-1 on aggregate, before fighting back to win with goals from Keane, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. They went on to win the trophy and complete the treble.

Ancelotti is himself under pressure after a dismal run in which his side have picked up just 10 points from 11 matches, sliding from top spot to fifth in the Premier League table.

Irish Independent