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Rafa hails Chelsea character

Rafa Benitez hailed the character of his Chelsea players as they battled to a 1-0 win over Norwich at Carrow Road.

Last Updated: 27/12/12 at 11:28 Post Comment

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Juan Mata's first-half goal proved to be enough to give Chelsea all three points and keep them in third spot in the Premier League.

Norwich rarely threatened in a cagey affair and Benitez was delighted with his side's performance as they built on their 8-0 success over Aston Villa with another three points.

"We knew it would be a difficult game, they have won against United and Arsenal and it was a tough game," said the Chelsea interim manager.

"I am really pleased with the performance of the players and really pleased as it is another victory after [returning from] Japan, so the team is showing character.

"We were working hard in defence, against Aston Villa we were attacking, it was a different type of game today and we showed character that the team can play football and at the same time can defend.

"They didn't have too many chances, we had two or three to score the second goal so I am pleased because it was a great performance."

Benitez refused to be drawn on reports that Frank Lampard, who started the game on the bench, would leave Stamford Bridge in January after being told he would not be getting a new contract.

"We don't talk about speculation, that is a conversation between Frank and the club," added Benitez. "We have to do our job which is to try and prepare the team for the next game

"To be fair I do not pay too much attention [to the rumours] because I have to concentrate on the games.

"Some things in the newspapers is something every club has to manage with."

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W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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