Players must take blame for exit – Cech
Published 06/12/2012 | 05:00
PETR CECH blamed a collective failure by Chelsea's players for the club becoming the first holders of the Champions League to exit the competition at the group stage.
Robert Di Matteo, who led Chelsea to glory in May in Germany, was dismissed in November, largely as a result of the failure to launch an adequate defence of the trophy, but goalkeeper Cech insisted the blame was with him and his team-mates.
"The responsibility is on everyone," he said. "We are all on the same boat, the manager and the players – the responsibility is the same for everyone. You are a team.
"We had results where we didn't win and we lost away to Donetsk and to Juventus, but I think the main difference was the draw at home to Juventus where we had gone 2-0 up but we finished the game 2-2.
"We knew what could happen prior to this game. The damage had been done before. We did what we could. We had a good performance and goals. We could only hope and, unfortunately, the other result did not go our way."
Interim manager Benitez admitted there was a hollow feeling in the Chelsea dressing-room but was determined to focus on the positives of his first win in charge.
"Always when you win it is a positive. When it is at home it is even better," he said. "The way we won – we had 32 attempts and 18 on target – is really good. When you win you have to be happy but at same time we are disappointed as we didn't progress.
"We can see a lot of positives for the future. We pressed well, we created chances and scored a lot of goals.
Asked about Fernando Torres' two-goal contribution, Benitez added: "He has to score. He was playing well and the team was helping him. If we create chances he will score goals."