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Main » 2013 » May » 3 » Benitez praises Chelsea fightback

Benitez praises Chelsea fightback

europa league
Rafael Benitez praised Chelsea's resilience after they came from behind to beat Basel 3-1 on Thursday and reach the Europa League final.
The English Premier League club reached their third European final in six years thanks to goals from Victor Moses, Fernando Torres and David Luiz, after Mohamed Salah had put Basel ahead in the match at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had won the first leg in Switzerland last week 2-1, and ultimately progressed with some degree of comfort following a dominant second-half performance in west London. 

"We had two clear chances in the first half but did not take them, we conceded the late goal at the end of the first half and the players had to react," Benitez told ITV after the game. 

"Credit to them because they did. We scored three and controlled the game.

"I came to do a professional job with the commitment of the players. I am pleased for them and everyone here.

"We have had a very good atmosphere, the players have always worked hard, they have always done their job.

"I was pleased with them before this game and I am pleased with them now." 

Luiz, whose fine second-half goal killed off the game for Chelsea, said he was keen to ensure that they take their chance and win some silverware for the season. 

"I try every game to help the team, the second half was better and I am happy we are in the final," he said. 

"This is one more opportunity to win a title - we lost three finals this season, so now is the time to win." 

Having watched his team dictate terms in the opening 45 minutes, Basel coach Murat Yakin was disappointed to lose control of the contest, but praised his players for exceeding expectations by lasting deep into the competition.

"Of course we are disappointed by the result tonight," he said.

"I felt that in the first half we played really well and we caused Chelsea a lot of problems at their own ground. 

"The second half went too fast, we made a few bad mistakes and we were caught out by them. 

"Chelsea took their chances well and we can learn from that. I want to praise my team though, we did everything we could on the night and put in a great performance here. We can be proud of what we achieved this season
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