A visibly disappointed Rafael Benitez explained that his side’s failure to take our chances cost us dearly, after watching the Blues lose 1-0 to Corinthians in the FIFA Club World Cup final.
Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata all missed good opportunities over the course of the 90 minutes, and it was Paolo Guerrero’s 69th minute header for the Brazilian side which ultimately proved decisive.
To compound our misery, Cahill was sent off in the last minute after reacting to a challenge from Emerson, although the Brazilian certainly didn’t help his cause with the theatrical manner in which he went down.
‘It was a situation with two players involved and challenging for the ball,’ said Benitez. ‘Maybe he lost his temper, I didn’t see it in the game but from the replay it looks as though it could have been a red card, but I don’t think it made a big difference in the game.’
On the performance
‘They were very physical from the first minute with every challenge and every second ball. As soon as they scored, they were passing and keeping the ball which made it difficult.
‘You can analyse the game, but we created four very good chances, which is a lot, their goalkeeper was the best player on the pitch.
‘We knew we would have chances in between the lines. We had possession and very good counter-attacks but it’s a question of taking your chances.’
On playing Victor Moses ahead of Oscar
‘We knew they had some problems in wide areas behind their full-backs, so we wanted to play somebody with pace and the ability to create something.’
On the physicality of Corinthians
‘We were not surprised as we saw them before. We watched some of their games so we knew how they played. For them, this final is like the World Cup and you could see that.
‘Our players have quality but some of them aren’t as strong physically. You could see that they have experience; every second they were around the referee and wasting time. I don’t say that as a negative, they were managing the game quite well.’
On taking the positives
‘Against a good team we had four clear chances, you don’t normally see that many in a final, so that means a lot.
‘For some players coming back, like Frank Lampard, it will be an improvement on his match fitness. For others, it will be a good experience; they will know what it’s like to play against a strong South American team and to play in another continent with a different atmosphere.’
On Fernando Torres
‘He had the chances and scored a disallowed goal, but you must take chances in a final as it’s not easy to create many. He was winning a lot of balls in the air, he was fresh and you could see he is improving.
On Wednesday night’s game against Leeds United
‘We go back, play Leeds in the Capital One Cup and then Aston Villa at the weekend, so we need to be strong mentally. We have to be ready for the next challenge.
‘I will start preparing for the game when we get back. We need to see who is available, how we will play and what we need to do.’
On the trip to Japan
‘We played a good game against Monterrey and today we competed until the end. It’s early, but we are improving every week. Hopefully that will continue and it will be easier to keep on winning games.’