Benitez: Penalty was strange

Rafa Benitez was thankful a 'very strange decision' did not deny Chelsea a win over Basel following a 2-1 success in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.

Last Updated: 26/04/13 at 07:35 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez and Ashley Cole, who will miss the second leg against Basel due to

Rafa Benitez and Ashley Cole, who will miss the second leg against Basel due to

Victor Moses' first-half header had Chelsea in front for the majority of the game until Basel equalised with three minutes to go through Fabian Schar's penalty.

The spot-kick was awarded for an apparent foul by Cesar Azpilicueta on Valentin Stocker, although there was little to suggest there had been an infringement.

David Luiz scored with the last kick of the game to ensure the decision did not prove too costly and Benitez was satisfied to come away from Switzerland with the advantage.

"I think we played against a good team," said Chelsea's interim manager. "You could see the intensity and pace of the game, and the tempo of the game.

"We had enough chances to score an away goal, but the penalty was a surprise for everyone and that could have made a difference.

"I couldn't see why it was a penalty. The ball was in the air and it was a very, very strange decision."

Benitez added: "It's always important to win and to score an away goal, but to score two and win is even better.

"David Luiz was playing as a midfielder and he did a great job, so I'm really pleased with the team in general."

Looking towards the second leg, Benitez added: "We know this team (Basel) is a very good team, who can score goals home and away, so we have to be sure to concentrate.

"We can't be over confident in the next game but we know that, if we play well, we can beat anyone."

One sour note for Chelsea was a 69th-minute booking for the fit-again Ashley Cole for time-wasting which rules the left-back out of next Thursday's second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Yakin: We didn't give up

Basle boss Murat Yakin said: "We were well organised but so were Chelsea. We just didn't find the free spaces.

"They took advantage of set pieces with the tall players they have in their team, but we didn't give up.

"Both sides created a lot of chances and the fans must have loved the game.

"We managed to equalise close to the end and the team reacted very well and were even looking for a winner.

"But, in the end, we were the unlucky team. Overall, we showed passion and it was a very good performance."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e deserved respect for forging a successful football career despite being, clearly, made from balsa wood.

Nutboy
Wenger: Diaby deserves respect

L

iverpool should put in a bid for Barkley. As cheeky as it may sound, only he looks capable enough to replace Gerrard.

paulay8
Gerrard's Decay Becoming Sadly Apparent

M

y emotions were not mixed. Super professional that he is. I will never look at you the same way Frank. Love affair over.

gittoplo
Lampard: Mixed emotions

Footer 365

Sky sources understand Frank Lampard may extend his loan deal at Manchester City

Frank Lampard's loan spell with Manchester City could be extended into February next year, according to Sky sources.

FIFA tightens concussion rules after World Cup incidents

Players suffering suspected concussion will have to be cleared by team doctors, under new FIFA proposals.

Transfer news: Juventus never considered signing Mario Balotelli in the summer

Juventus general director Beppe Marotta has confirmed the club never considered signing Mario Balotelli in the summer.

Mail Box

Should Gerrard Play Further Forward?

That's one shout in a mailbox that recalls Rafa Benitez saying the Liverpool man would one day end up as a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney and 500 words on Ipswich...

Will Rodgers Finally Drop Gerrard?

The mailbox wants to know if Brendan Rodgers has the stones to drop Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Wayne Rooney's display, sitting down, and thanking United fans...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property