Benitez salutes Chelsea grit

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez hailed the character of his side after they defeated Leeds 5-1 in their Capital One Cup quarter-final.

Last Updated: 20/12/12 at 11:04 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Blues were 1-0 down at half-time but came back to put five goals past their opponents in a pulsating second half at Elland Road.

Juan Mata, Branislav Ivanovic, Victor Moses, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres were all on target in a dominant second-half display from the visitors, who now face Swansea in the last four.

Benitez, whose side flew back from Japan at the start of the week following their unsuccessful Club World Cup campaign, told Sky Sports: "We were looking for character and at half-time we talked about this.

"After coming back from Japan, the jet lag... changing some players because the rest were a little bit tired... the reaction in the way that we played was amazing."

Despite losing the Club World Cup final to Corinthians, Benitez insisted the trip to the Far East had been positive in terms of bonding.

He said: "It's always important to spend some time together and we had plenty of time there, talking about everything. It was really good.

"Here we have to play eight games in 24 days so you don't have too much time to prepare things and to train and coach the players properly, so I'm really pleased with the time we had together, because you know the players a little bit better."

Looking ahead to the two-legged semi-final, Benitez added: "Every competition is important for us. A top side has to try and win every competition and now we are in the semi-final, so very close to Wembley.

"We know Swansea are a good team. When you get to the semi-final of any competition you have to do well.

"I think they deserve to be here but hopefully we can do what we did today and we will be in the final.

"They like to play football, they like to play on the floor. We have to do well and also try to keep the ball, so I think it will be interesting."

Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think that puts all doubts over Benteke's quality to bed. Can he do it after receiving the ball to feet, in the box, totally unmarked, on a warm, sunny afternoon in Swindon? Oh yes he can! This year is definitely Liverpool's year. YNWA.

rationalmanc
WATCH: Benteke's debut screamer

A

ll very well selling all midfield and strikers but unless we bring anyone in that is better than what we had then it will be a terrible transfer window in my view. Sorted out the defense but our midfield and striker options look very light.

bigo
Spurs Halfway To The Perfect Summer

L

ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

suarez_blind
Jose rues pitch and weather after defeat

Footer 365

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has 'difficult questions'

Arsenal centre-half Per Mertesacker says manager Arsene Wenger has a lot of "difficult questions" to answer.

West Ham forward Enner Valencia ruled out for up to 12 weeks

West Ham forward Enner Valencia has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a leg injury.

Jordy Clasie says he'd have rejected move to Man United in order to join Southampton

Jordy Clasie claims he'd have rejected Man United to sign for Southampton - saying it's "better to start lower and finish higher".

Mail Box

There's A Lot Of Anger About TV...

...and how much you have to pay - largely for games you don't actually want to watch. Many of you are forced to go illegal. We also have mails on Chelsea, Angel di Maria and...

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company