Benitez upbeat despite exit

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez was determined to focus on the positives after his side crashed out of the Champions League despite a 6-1 win over FC Nordsjaelland.

Last Updated: 06/12/12 at 10:27 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

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

The Blues became the first defending champions not to make it out of the group stages of Europe's elite competition after Shakhtar Donetsk's 1-0 defeat to Juventus saw the Italian side advance as Group E winners.

The Ukrainians will also be in the draw for the knockout phase by virtue of their better head-to-head record against the west Londoners.

Benitez said the atmosphere in the Stamford Bridge dressing room was hollow but he at least witnessed his first win since taking charge of Chelsea while Fernando Torres scored twice to end a six-game goal drought.

"I think always when you win it is a positive. When it is at home it is even better," said the Spaniard. "The way we won, we had 32 attempts and 18 on target, is really good.

"When you win you have to be happy but at same time we are disappointed as we didn't progress. At least we showed the level and quality we asked for.

"We now have to think about Sunderland (on Saturday) and the Europa League.

"But the game was so good today and we can see a lot of positives for the future. We pressed well, we created chances and scored a lot of goals.

"If you ask ask about Fernando also he scored goals. He has to score. He was playing well and the team was helping him. If we create chances he will score goals."

One game at a time

Chelsea's embarrassing display overall in Europe compounds the poor domestic form that has seen them go seven league games without a win, although Benitez believes Wednesday night's win can kick-start their campaign.

"I'm sure that, playing at this level, we can do whatever we want, but we have to start that in the next game," he said, looking ahead to the trip to Sunderland.

"My idea is one game at a time, but if you remember the four games we've already played there was only 45 minutes we did not play at the right level.

"Manchester City was a difficult game but we performed more or less against one of, if not the, best teams in the Premier League.

"Against Fulham we could have won and had a lot of chances, too. The first half against West Ham was good so everything I am seeing from the players is good, is positive.

"They are progressing, they are improving and they are adjusting to my ideas - the little things we are trying to change - so I think I have to be pleased."

As well as the overall team performance, which included goals from David Luiz - who opened the scoring from the spot - Gary Cahill, Juan Mata and Oscar, Benitez was buoyed by Torres' showing.

"I hope [it is a springboard for him]," Benitez said. "He's shown his desire and quality at the same time.

"If we can play at this level, then I think he can score more goals."

His goals, though, were not enough to prevent Chelsea dropping into the Europa League - a competition many see as an unwanted distraction.

"The Europa League is not important if you don't win," Benitez said. "When you are in the semi-final or the final, everyone wants to win it.

"We know that it is an important competition and we want to go as far as we can and if we can win the competition, we will try to do that."

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

d like to add players who push their team-mates out of the way to celebrate on their own

exhausted
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

I

f I were Manuel Pellegrini I would keep quiet and hope the Board didn't notice City not winning anything. If he isn't sacked I'd be astonished.

lfcfan80
Pellegrini: I won't be sacked

S

till I suppose it still gives him at least another year in the job. By the time it comes around , he can always make up another excuse. First it was 3 months , then a year .....Next year ? Whats his excuse with Van Persie ?

spud1
Di Maria 'could peak next year'

Footer 365

Neville 'concerned' over Reds form

Gary Neville has admitted that he is "concerned" that a resurgent Liverpool could qualify for the Champions League ahead of Manchester United.

Boro claim top spot as Derby lose

Middlesbrough became the new Championship leaders as they took advantage of Derby's latest slip by beating Millwall 3-0.

Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom: Benteke's late show helps end Villa's long wait for a win

Tim Sherwood recorded his first win as Aston Villa boss as Christian Benteke's late penalty helped beat West Brom 2-1.

Mail Box

Look Away Now Please, Sherwood...

Sherwood's cringeworthiness, Matic's Wembley celebrations, why LVG must show balls - it's all here in your Wednesday afternoon Mailbox...

United's No 2 Isn't That Bad Either...

One mailboxer is getting in a flap about the claim Man Utd would struggle without De Dea, while there's some anger directed at Chelsea...

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