Chelsea Online video Ranking: / 5
Chelsea Video Ranking: four / 5
Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has started the mind games ahead of the FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City on Sunday. Chelsea will be coming into the match after having played four matches eight days, while the recently travelled to Russia on Thursday in order to play against Rubin Kazan in the Europa league. Manchester City, meanwhile, have been playing around one game a week for the last few months since been knocked out of the Champions League. As a result, the opposition have a clear advantage when it comes to the fitness and freshness of the players.
Some of the Chelsea players have been working very tired in the past few matches, but Benitez rested the key midfielders for the club – Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, and Oscar – against Rubin Kazan. Hence, they are likely to be a bit more fresh. Further, Demba Ba did not also take part in the Europa league encounter. He recently scored in the 1-0 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup, but he was not at his best against Sunderland in the last Premier league match. Fernando Torres, on the other hand, has managed three goals in his last three appearances for the team, and has been showing signs of returning to form.
“It’s always an advantage (to have rested while Chelsea travelled). I don’t know how much. We’ve tried to manage our squad and we have players with some fresh legs. Hopefully we will be fine. We have too many games and we have to use the squad. Everyone has to be on their toes. Too many games in a season. I will not say international or what kind of games. Too many games, though. Reduce the number of games: simple. To see a game where you can win 8-0 at international level is not an amazing experience for anyone,” said Benitez.
Chelsea Video clip Score: four / five
The Nigerian midfielder John obi Mikel has come out in support of the manager Rafa Benitez by saying that the fans do not help the team by criticising the manager. The Chelsea fans have made it clear from the start that they did not welcome the appointment of the former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez due to the history between him and the club. Benitez criticised the Chelsea fans on a number of occasions when he was the Liverpool manager. As a result, there has been a lot of support for the former manager Roberto di Matteo, while also equal criticism for the current man.
Chelsea were just four points behind leaders Manchester United when Benitez arrived at the club, but they are now almost 20 points behind the Red Devils. The Spaniard was once again subjected to criticism during the FA Cup match against Manchester United during the weekend. Chelsea were losing 2-0 after just 11 min on the clock. Benitez brought on the defensive midfielder John obi Mikel in place of Lampard, while Hazard replaced the winger Victor Moses. It was a decision that was met with chorus of disapproval from the Chelsea fans, but it later turned out to be the reason behind Chelsea’s impressive comeback in the second half.
“Sometimes it doesn’t help when the fans are not happy. When you give the ball away there is pressure. This is our job. Fans come to watch the football and we have a responsibility to pay them back and make sure we play well. Every game we try to do that, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I have been here for seven years and they (the fans) are fantastic and have always supported us until the end,” said Mikel after the 2-2 draw with Manchester United that forced the tie into a replay.
Pressure on the Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has increased substantially after the 2-2 draw with Reading on Wednesday night. Chelsea were looking extremely comfortable in the match after taking a two goal lead in the second half, but they had to come away with only a point from the match after conceding two goals in the final few minutes. Juan Mata gave Chelsea the lead in injury time of the first half, while the 10th of the season from the midfielder Frank Lampard doubled the advantage. It looked like Chelsea where taking all three points from the match and closing the gap on Manchester City.
However, Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to score his first goal in the 87th minute, which seemed to give Reading a glimmer of hope. They managed to then snatch an unlikely point in the 90th minute through a second goal from Le Fondre. Benitez said after the match that he is lost for words to explain the two dropped points for the team, which has decreased the chances of him being offered the job permanently. Benitez has said that the Chelsea players should have been more aware of the danger when Reading started playing long balls in the closing stages of the match.
“Everyone could see the game was under control for us until the last minute. It is difficult to explain. The last free-kick we made too many mistakes. We had chances to kill the game. It changed because they were playing long balls. We can say we have to be more clinical, and more aware of this situation with these mistakes defending set-pieces. They had their first shot after 78 minutes. It’s difficult how to explain how we drew this game,” said Benitez. Chelsea remain in the third position after this round of fixtures.
Chelsea Movie Score: four / 5
The Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has said that he is extremely happy with the character of the performance shown by the team to come back from being a goal down to win against Everton during the weekend. This fixture has always been the toughest for the club in recent seasons, as they were without a win at Goodison Park since April 2008. Things looked like going for the worse once again after they conceded a goal just 63 seconds into the match through Steven Pienaar. Chelsea’s passing and chance creation were also extremely poor during the first 20 min of the match.
However, two goals from the midfielder Frank Lampard in either half helped Chelsea win the match 2-1. This also helped them stay 11 points behind United in the table. Any dropped points in this match would have meant goodbye to the title, which is the reason for this victory being extremely significant according to Benitez. Lampard once again proved his worth to the Chelsea team by scoring two goals. His first goal was a header just before half-time, while his second goal came in a crucial time when Everton were looking to regain their lead. The 34-year-old Frank Lampard is out of contract at the end of the season.
“We’re not disappointed because we played really well and we’ve run the European champions really close. but we didn’t quite have enough in the end. We had played well enough to get a second goal but had been unfortunate, having shots back off the woodwork. I thought we were a bit unlucky. We tried to make what we had work the best we could today and for long periods I thought we did,” said the Everton manager David Moyes. The win moves Chelsea back into the third position ahead of Tottenham.