EVEN in victory there was agitation between Rafael Benitez and Chelsea, writes Ben Rumsby.
The interim manager has not proven a popular appointment among supporters but yesterday it was the Spaniard who was perturbed. Chelsea eased through to the final of the World Club Cup with a win over Monterrey but there were still elements of the performance which are in need of attention.
Juan Mata, Fernando Torres – who scored in his third consecutive match for Chelsea – and an own goal from Darvin Chavez decided the match and set up a final with Corinthians on Sunday. The Chelsea squad seemed jaded after making the journey to Yokohama and conceded in stoppage time as Aldo de Negris scored a consolation for the Mexicans.
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Benitez, who won the tournament with Internazionale two years ago has little time for excuses afterwards, though. "I'm not very happy with the goal we conceded," he said. "We won, which is fine, but still these little things can make a difference in a final, for example. When I talk about a winning mentality, always I talk about little details making the difference. They have to keep their concentration to the end."
Chelsea spurned a hatful of chances in the first half before Mata gave the London side the lead. A three-minute blitz then followed after the break as Torres continued his scoring form. Chelsea have now won three matches on the spin, with the Spanish striker finding the net in each of them. It is the first time he has managed such a feat since joining the club.
"He's a bit sharper, has more confidence and the team's playing well," said Benitez. "It's a run, and that's good for him and good for us. If we continue creating chances, he'll carry on scoring."
The result will not cause many ripples given the disparity between the two sides and Victor Vucetich, the Monterrey manager, was philosophical afterwards. "The players are getting paid a lot, so that's how they get great players," he said.