Having begun the evening knowing nothing could be done to keep Chelsea in the Champions League should Juventus get the right result in Ukraine, Rafael Benitez concentrated on his own team’s performance as he later reflected on our exit from the competition.
After Petr Cech had done his bit to prevent a stumble by saving a Nordsjaelland penalty when the score was 0-0, Chelsea cruised to a 6-1 win, our highest goal tally in the Champions League. We even had the luxury of missing a penalty of our own, with David Luiz, Fernando Torres, Gary Cahill and Juan Mata successfully finding the net.
Benitez described the mood in the home dressing room following the game…
‘If we had won just 1-0 or 2-1 then maybe the players will only think it is a pity, but at the moment we can see they are not happy but there is also the feeling they did well today, suggesting the future can be good,’ he said.
‘The game between Shakhtar and Juventus was out of our hands so we had to do our job and as a manager I have to be really pleased with the performance of the team – 32 attempts, 18 on-target, six goals and a lot of clear chances. You have to think about the positives but you have to be really disappointed because you cannot progress in the Champions League.
‘It is always important to win but more than just winning was the way we won – and we saw character, commitment, intensity, chances and good play. Everything you are looking for.
‘I am sure that playing at the level we played today we can do whatever we want, but we have to start with the next game.’
On Fernando Torres returning to scoring ways with two goals…
‘The team played well and I said before if the team plays well Torres will score goals.
‘Yesterday I was watching him in the training session and he was little bit sharp with more confidence, and today he was fine and the rest of team was also helping because we were playing good football with intensity.
‘Torres showed his desire and his quality and if we can play at this level he can score more goals.’
On the attitude to the Europa League which we now go into…
‘The Europa League is not important if you don’t win it but when you are in the semi-final or the final everyone wants to win, so we want to go as far as we can.
‘Every competition is important for us so we will try to do our best and try to challenge and win it if we can.’