FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT: WE CAN DO IT

Rafael Benitez was able to reflect on a convincing win, a tactical plan that worked and a place in the Club World Cup final after the CONCACAF champions were overcome in Japan.

The selection of David Luiz in midfield was not a complete surprise given his few minutes there in a recent game but the hour he played in Yokohama helped the team to a 3-0 lead, the Blues only conceding deep into stoppage time at the end of the semi-final.

Now it is on to face Corinthians in the same stadium on Sunday, a challenge for which the interim manager declared the team in a good state to take on. But first there was the beating of Monterrey to discuss…

‘It was good play – a high tempo, great goals and great movement, and a lot of positives for us against a team that are well-organised,’ praised Benitez before adding: ‘I am not happy with the goal we conceded because these little things can make a difference in a final.

‘The main idea for playing David Luiz there was for this game because Monterrey are good between the lines where they like to play little penetrating passes. They have the left winger going inside a lot so we wanted more players in this area.

‘I know David Luiz well when he was at Benfica and played centre-back, right-back, left-back or defensive midfield and he can regain a lot of balls and at the same time he can play the ball. He can win it in the air and has fresh legs.

‘It was mainly for this game but it is always an option for the future.’

On Eden Hazard’s influential performance…
‘We know he is a good player and can make the difference and I am pleased because he is working hard. He is an offensive player but he is also working hard defensively and helping the team when we are not in possession. He has all the potential and he is now a great player but he can be even better in the future.’

Looking ahead to Sunday’s final…
‘We saw our level today and now we will see how we will do against Corinthians. They were a compact team in their semi-final, they work hard and have the quality of the Brazilians. They will be tough. We have to be aware and we will see but we are ready and we can do it.’

On the travelling support in the stadium…
‘I was really pleased to see 1000 of our fans, it is important when you know what it means to come here from England. It is good and I am pleased for them. Hopefully we can win the title for our fans.’

Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich lamented his side’s lapses in concentration and thought they matched Chelsea at times in the game, but said…

‘When Chelsea scored at the start of the second half it took some time before we were able to react. We knew we had to play a perfect match but we were not able to display everything we had. Chelsea were very strong and didn’t allow us to play our own football.’

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