Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez buoyed after win at Man Utd

05 May 2013 06:50
Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez buoyed after win at Man Utd Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez believes his side have closed in on Champions League qualification with their 1-0 win over Manchester United. The victory puts Chelsea third in the Premier League and the Blues can all but secure a top-four place if they beat Tottenham at home on Wednesday. "It [Tottenham] is another crucial game for us. If we can win we will be in the top four," said Benitez. Chelsea in focus Chelsea's win helped them beat Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time in five meetings. Chelsea have scored the opening goals on 23 occasions this season, which is more than any other side in the Premier League this season (22 - Tottenham Hotspur). "The three points against Manchester United [are] massive for us." Chelsea's win at champions United in their 65th game of the season came courtesy of a late Juan Mata strike being deflected in off defender Phil Jones. It moved the Blues one point ahead of third-placed Arsenal, who have played a game more, and three points better off than fifth-placed Spurs. A win over Tottenham would leave Andre Villas-Boas's men six points behind Chelsea, who have a superior goal difference, with two games to play. "It wasn't an easy game [against United]," said Benitez. "The tempo was not too high. "You can understand when they have already won the title it is easier for them to relax a little bit. "But 65 games is not easy to keep playing at a high tempo all the time. I think we did well and won, which was the most important thing for us." He added: "He [Mata] is a great player. He has the game intelligence, ability and quality to make a difference and he did that." The race for the Champions League Tuesday 7 May: Man City v West Brom Wednesday 8 May: Chelsea v Tottenham Saturday 11 May: Aston Villa v Chelsea Sunday 12 May: Stoke v Tottenham Tuesday 14 May: Arsenal v Wigan; Reading v Man City Sunday 19 May: Chelsea v Everton; Man City v Norwich; Newcastle v Arsenal; Tottenham v Sunderland

Source: bbc_sport