It was an afternoon to remember for all the right reasons at Stamford Bridge as the Blues recorded our biggest ever Premier League win, beating Aston Villa 8-0.
Rafael Benitez was understandably delighted with his side’s dominant performance, but believes there is still room for improvement.
On the performance
‘We had a gameplan and an idea,’ said the Chelsea manager. ‘We knew they could be dangerous on the break so we tried to stop that and attack them in the way we wanted to, and everything went according to plan.
‘You could see from the beginning that the team was really focused with confidence in themselves. With two or three goals it was easier, but against a team with good movement we were still doing well.
‘Now we have to sustain this run, keep winning some games and then it will be easier for me to send a message out that we can compete.’
On the overall progression of the team
‘To win is always special, but the main thing for me is to see the team progress and improve. In every training session we try to adjust little things and at the moment it’s very positive.
‘The main thing is to win our games; you can do it if you see the team improving. With this kind of performance you can normally win games. You could see the mentality of the players, even at 6-0 we were pushing and trying to score more.
‘The team are attacking as a whole and not just depending on one or two players, which is good news. Hopefully we can keep this momentum.’
On Aston Villa
‘It’s not easy when you see the other team are suffering, but if you have chances you have to take them.
‘I feel sorry for them, but I was impressed with the way they played. They had a good mentality but the difference in the end came down to experience.’
On the future of Frank Lampard
‘He’s an important player for us; he’s playing well, training well and his commitment’s there. I’m really pleased for him scoring another goal. We have a long season to play and he’s doing well.’
On dealing with injuries and suspensions
‘The squad we have at the moment is a good squad and we have to keep the balance. We have a problem with Oriol [Romeu], so we are playing David Luiz in midfield, and we are trying to adapt. You saw Lucas [Piazon] and Oscar come on today because we are trying to rest some players.’
On the potential sale of Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool
‘The information I have is that he was there today passing a medical, but we don’t have any more information at the moment.’
Paul Lambert, meanwhile, offered an honest assessment of his team’s capitulation.
‘You don’t need to be Einstsein to work out what went wrong,’ said the Villa boss. ‘We’ve been on a good run of late but I’m not going to make excuses, we’ve been well beaten.
‘Credit to Chelsea, they were exceptional. We’re a young side, and sometimes you learn more about your players from a defeat.’