independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Rafa: Win won't change people's opinions

Rafael Benitez insists Chelsea still have room for improvement despite their 8-0 win

Rafael Benitez does not feel Chelsea's 8-0 thrashing of Aston Villa has made the rest of the Barclays Premier League sit up and take notice, believing they were already wary of them to start with.

The Blues ran riot at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, with seven different players getting on the scoresheet - a Premier League first - while it would have been more but for a missed Lucas Piazon penalty.

When asked if other teams would now be fearing them, Benitez said: "No. They knew Chelsea were a top side before, and still are. They will be dangerous and will have game-plans and ideas. Maybe they will be more careful playing against us, but they had a lot of respect for Chelsea before."

Chelsea have started to tick over nicely over the last month, with the furore over Benitez's appointment starting to die down, but they are still some way behind Manchester United in the title race, trailing the Red Devils by 11 points.

"Today we have that game-plan and idea," Benitez added. "We knew they (Villa) would be dangerous in counter-attacks, so we were trying to stop them with the way we wanted to attack, and everything went to plan.

"The main thing is to win our games. You can do that if you can see the team improving. I'm sure it will be closer. We'll try to be as close as possible, but you can see the mentality of the team; even after six goals they were still pushing forward for more."

Fernando Torres, opened the scoring with a brilliant header, and were it not for a brilliant display from Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan Chelsea could have hit double figures. But the unlucky American could only watch as David Luiz smashed in a brilliant second and Branislav Ivanovic made it three before the break.

After the interval more came from Ramires (two), Oscar's penalty and Eden Hazard, while Frank Lampard marked his 500th Premier League start with a wonderful fourth from distance.

The mauling was a far cry from last week's 3-1 win at Liverpool for Villa, who were run ragged all afternoon. In-form Christian Benteke barely got a kick in attack and manager Paul Lambert conceded that his men had been turned over.

"I'm not going to sit here and make excuses, we were well beaten, second best all over the pitch," he said. "We'll have to pick ourselves up and go again on Wednesday, hurt as we are. We'll go back to the training ground, train tomorrow and Tuesday, and go again."

Press Association

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