Sunday 18 March 2018

Ancelotti has time to say goodbye

Chelsea 2
Newcastle Utd 2

Jason Burt

Carlo Ancelotti was asked about his emotions after what could be his last home game. "My emotions?" he replied, struggling a little to keep them in check. "I don't know what happens and I want to wait. After that I can explain."

There was relief, also, for Ancelotti that the waiting to discover his fate -- he protested that he still expected to stay even if he probably knew he was set to go -- was almost over. "We have to wait just one week," he said. "And see what happens."

Ancelotti should not be subjected to this. A Premier League and FA Cup double last season; a second-place finish this and one of the most accomplished managers in European football is left dangling to the end of the campaign.

The line from Chelsea is that this is normal; that a review is accepted practice.

Ancelotti joined the players for a slow lap around the pitch to thank the supporters but it was clearly a difficult experience for him.

He did look emotional but, by then, owner Roman Abramovich had already retreated back into the stadium. There was no applause from the owner for manager or squad and his absence after the final whistle was conspicuous.

It did not help that Chelsea produced the kind of disjointed display that has punctuated their season. Newcastle, despite being shorn of experience, were outstanding.

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic bundled over the line with just two minutes gone before Ryan Taylor's free-kick deflected off Jonas Guttierez eight minutes later. An Alex header in the 83rd minute looked to have won it but Steven Taylor popped up in injury time to claim a point. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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