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Benitez takes the positives

Rafa Benitez felt the 'atmosphere was much better' and praised Chelsea's fans after a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Last Updated: 03/03/13 at 08:14 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Delighted with the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge

Rafa Benitez: Delighted with the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge

Benitez had been expected to receive a hostile reception after his outspoken comments in midweek, when he criticised some supporters for wasting their energy on attacking him rather than getting behind the team.

But the Spaniard, who has found it difficult to win popularity at Stamford Bridge due to his previous spell in charge of Liverpool, was happy with the response against West Brom.

"I think the atmosphere was much better and the fans were behind the team. It was really positive," he told Sky Sports.

"The fans realise that when they are behind the team it will be easier to achieve what we want to achieve."

Demba Ba's early goal proved to be the difference between the sides as Ben Foster pulled off a series of fine saves to keep West Brom in with a chance, and Benitez admits it ended up closer than he would have liked.

He said: "It was a pity because we played a great game. Their keeper was the man of the match, to me, and we were in control.

"But we could not score the second goal and then, after 75 minutes, we were under pressure.

"We have to be pleased because the team was working very hard and playing very well."

Chelsea's victory lifted them back into third place above Tottenham Hotspur, who face fellow UEFA Champions League hopefuls Arsenal in a north London derby on Sunday.

Benitez added: "Tomorrow Tottenham and Arsenal play against each other so it us good for us to be in a good position and see what happens tomorrow."

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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