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Chelsea V Swansea at Stamford Bridge : LIVE

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28 Apr 2013 13:24:21

Chelsea V Swansea at Stamford Bridge : LIVE

Chelsea V Swansea - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Benitez calls for cutting edge

Rafael Benitez recognises Chelsea must be more clinical if they are to achieve their dual aim of Europa League victory and Champions League qualification.

Fernando Torres last scored a Barclays Premier League goal before Christmas, while Demba Ba has two goals in the competition since arriving from Newcastle in January.

There are mitigating circumstances, but it is undeniable Chelsea should expect more from their strike force.

As Ba is ineligible in European competition, Torres has been used sparingly domestically, and the former Newcastle striker is in line to return against Swansea on Sunday. Gary Cahill may also start in defence after he was an unused substitute in the Europa League win in Basle on Thursday night.

Chelsea were denied victory at Liverpool last Sunday by Luis Suarez's 97th-minute goal and while it is argued the Uruguayan should not have been on the pitch following his bite on Branislav Ivanovic, the visitors would have expected to hold on to win.

Benitez's side were profligate at times in the 2-1 semi-final first leg win in Switzerland and the Spaniard knows chances must be converted against Swansea for his side to consolidate their top-four position.

"Always when you have a lot of chances you want to be more clinical," Benitez said.

"It's something we have seen during the season, a lot of games where we were doing well in attack and still we didn't take our chances."

Fingers have been pointed at Torres and Ba, but Benitez has always praised the work-rate and influence of his lone striker set-up - the duo have rarely been seen on the pitch at the same time - whether they have been on the scoresheet or not.

Torres hit the post against Basle, when David Luiz's last-gasp free-kick goal earned victory.

Torres was not the only player to spurn an opportunity as Eden Hazard and Ramires also were denied and John Terry had a header saved by Yann Sommer at point-black range in stoppage-time.

The Blues took the advantage in the tie, though, as Luiz's strike earned the win after Victor Moses' opener had been cancelled out following the award of a soft penalty converted by Fabian Schar.

"We had some good chances," Benitez said. "We scored one and after we had two or three chances to score a second goal and a lot of counter attacks we couldn't finish, so I think it could have been even better.

"I was disappointed with the penalty. It could change everything. It was a surprise for everyone but the reaction was quite positive and I think we deserved to win."

The Europa League is Chelsea's third semi-final of the season and in the first, Swansea overcame the odds to beat the European champions and go on to lift the Capital One Cup.

The bid to avenge that tie is one of the intriguing sub-plots of Sunday's match.

Benitez merely wants to win whoever the opposition as he knows Chelsea's fate in their bid to qualify for the Champions League is in their own hands.

"It doesn't matter the name of the other team," Benitez said. "We have to win because we want to be in the top four, top three.

"Swansea's a good team, but we are a good team and we want to win. It doesn't matter which team we will play against."

Chico Flores knows nothing less than a repeat of their Capital One Cup semi-final heroics will be good enough if Swansea are to get a result at Stamford Bridge.

The Swans are unbeaten in three meetings against the reigning European champions this season.

The league meeting at the Liberty Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw, while two clean sheets in the last-four of the League Cup were enough to secure a 2-0 aggregate victory.

The outstanding performances of Flores and centre-half partner Ashley Williams were hallmarks of the cup contests, particularly during the first leg in London where the Swans had to survive wave after wave of Chelsea pressure.

Flores modestly deflects the praise for his individual performances, but acknowledges a similar standard will be required as they return to Stamford Bridge.

He said: "I don't know if they were our best performances of the season but obviously to keep Chelsea to zero in two games is an achievement.

"But it is not just about me and Ashley - our whole defence was good over those two games and has been throughout the season.

"Ben Davies is young and new to the Premier League but he has done well and is improving all the time, and Angel Rangel has been here for many years and is very good.

"We have two good goalkeepers in Michel Vorm and Gerhard Tremmel and as a team we work hard in defence, including the strikers and midfielders.

"We've done well in the big games this season, keeping a clean sheet against Chelsea and Arsenal, only conceding one goal against Manchester United and Manchester City. We need to keep that going."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has a fully-fit squad to select from.


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