Malouda hails influential Essien

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French winger Florent Malouda believes Michael Essien will "make the difference" in Chelsea's pursuit of silverware this season.

After being out for six months with a knee injury, Essien has returned in top working order, scoring in his first two starts since his recovery.

A week ago he scored in the 2-2 draw at Juventus which saw Chelsea through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

On Sunday, the Ghanaian helped the Blues to regain second spot in the Premier League with a first-half winner against Manchester City.

And Malouda insists the man José Mourinho dubbed ‘The Train’ has put Chelsea on track for an amazing treble.

He said in the Evening Standard: "He can make the difference.

"We are still trying to win three titles so we know that we will have a lot of games. Michael has that spirit, he has worked a lot to come back.

"It's really important for us to see that after those months he spent working every day, to come back and be fit again is good. You can see his energy, his spirit and commitment to the team.

"He helps the game for the strikers because he keeps on running, gives good balls and yesterday he scored. He has a positive attitude and he gives a lot to the team."

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