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Win at Fulham pleases Benitez

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez was happy with his team's clinical performance as they won 3-0 at Fulham.

Last Updated: 18/04/13 at 08:38 Post Comment

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An outrageous long-range effort from David Luiz followed by a brace from John Terry saw Chelsea ease to a comfortable 3-0 victory that lifts them above Arsenal into third in the Premier League.

Benitez praised Fulham's style of play but felt his side had the superior quality and is hopeful of retaining their spot in the top three for the remainder of the season.

"To score three goals and keep a clean sheet, especially in a derby, is really good and I am very happy with the side," he told Sky Sports.

"We knew that it is a good side with quality and the way that they play is quite good. But we are strong and also have quality so when we scored the first goal I thought it was a matter of time. They were trying to push but that gave us more space and more options on the counter-attack."

The strike by Luiz lit up the evening in west London and Benitez was not shocked by what he saw from the Brazilian defender.

"It was really good," he added. "We have seen him scoring lots of goals like this in the training sessions and also some good goals from free-kicks. He has this ability.

"All the team did well but the defenders in particular were working hard against good strikers. Both David Luiz and John were really good."

Terry has been in and out of the side under Benitez as he has struggled for fitness but the Spaniard is anticipating a selection problem if the skipper can maintain this kind of form.

"It's coming back," said Benitez of Terry's fitness. "If he can train every week it will be easier for me to pick him every week and we have competition. It is good for us and a problem for me."

With the Blues up to third in the table, the interim boss insists the main target is to stay in the spot that will guarantee the club a place in the group stages of next season's Champions League.

"We know we have a target," he added. "It is very clear. We must stay in the top three in the league. We have eight or nine games to play and we must think of the team. Hopefully if we can keep winning our games we will stay there."

Benitez is looking forward to returning to former club Liverpool this weekend, although leaving Anfield with three points is his only concern.

"Liverpool is where my family live now," the Spaniard said. "I have been there for six years and have very good memories.

"I cannot hide that I am really pleased to be going there to see a lot of old friends.

"The main thing is to stay in the top three and what I want is to win at Liverpool.

"And after, I wish them all the best and if they can win all their games until the end of the season, that will be fantastic.

"But as a professional, I am sure they will try and win and we will try win."

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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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