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Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 18:30

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 18:30

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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

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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Readers' Comments

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.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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