Stoke 0 Chelsea 4: Rafael Benítez thrilled with Blues display
Stoke 0 Chelsea 4: Rafael Benítez was thrilled with his Chelsea side's display after Blues move to within four points of City
Rafael Benítez was thrilled with his Chelsea side’s display after the Blues thrashed Stoke to move to within four points of second-placed Manchester City.
Jon Walters scored an own-goal either side of the break at the Britannia Stadium, before a Frank Lampard penalty and a fourth goal from Eden Hazard secured a resounding victory.
Benítez, whose side have now won their last two away games by a four-goal margin, was understandably delighted with his side’s display against a dogged Stoke.
“It was a difficult game, especially in the first half,” said the Chelsea boss. “We knew it would be, Tony Pulis is doing a great job and we knew it would be physical and intense, but we were ready for that.
“The [first] goal changed the game because they had to go forward and left space, which meant little by little we could control the game. My players showed great character and quality.
“We were trying to explain to some of the players what they could find here, a physical game against a team with a clear idea of how they want to play. We watched clips, saw what we had to do and the response was really good.”
There were further positives for the Spaniard as John Terry made his fist appearance since November when he came on as a late substitute as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury.
“I was trying to give him some minutes to see how he was,” said Benítez of Terry. “I watched him in the reserve team but this is totally different, so we played five at the back and tried to protect him a bit.
“We will see how he trains and if he has no problems, it is a question of fitness now.”