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Boos for Benitez as Chelsea fans protest

LONDON (AFP) –

Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez

Chelsea‘s interim Spanish manager Rafael Benitez reacts during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London. Benitez’s tenure as Chelsea interim coach began beneath a hail of boos on Sunday as the club’s fans voiced their displeasure at his arrival.

Rafael Benitez’s tenure as Chelsea interim coach began beneath a hail of boos on Sunday as the club’s fans voiced their displeasure at his arrival.

The match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Benitez was appointed on a short-term basis on Wednesday after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked, but some Chelsea fans have protested against the move due to the Spaniard’s former role as coach of rivals Liverpool.

The announcement of Benitez’s name over the public address system ahead of Chelsea’s home game with Manchester City on Sunday prompted a chorus of boos to break out around Stamford Bridge.

Supporters chanted Di Matteo’s name, with one fan holding up a banner that read, ‘Only One Di Matteo’, and there were also abusive chants aimed at Benitez.

In the 16th minute, Chelsea’s fans began to applaud and chant Di Matteo’s name in a pre-planned protest that made reference to the fact the Italian wore the number 16 shirt during his playing days at the club.

Speaking prior to the game, Benitez said he was not expecting to be the target of abuse.

“I don’t think it will be bad because they know they have to support the manager, because he is the manager of their team,” he told Sky Sports.

“When you are the manager of the team that is their big rivals it is normal (to get a bad reception). Now they know I will do my best for them and the team and will try to win.”

English Premier League table after Sunday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Man Utd 13 10 0 3 32 18 30

Man City 13 8 5 0 25 10 29

West Brom 13 8 2 3 23 15 26

Chelsea 13 7 4 2 24 13 25

Everton 13 5 6 2 23 17 21

Arsenal 13 5 5 3 23 13 20

Tottenham 13 6 2 5 23 22 20

West Ham 13 5 4 4 16 15 19

Swansea 13 4 5 4 18 16 17

Fulham 13 4 4 5 25 23 16

Liverpool 13 3 7 3 17 16 16

Stoke 13 3 7 3 11 11 16

Norwich 13 3 6 4 10 19 15

Newcastle 13 3 5 5 13 19 14

Wigan 13 4 2 7 15 23 14

Sunderland 12 2 6 4 12 16 12

Southampton 13 3 2 8 20 30 11

Aston Villa 13 2 4 7 10 22 10

Reading 12 1 6 5 16 22 9

QPR 13 0 4 9 10 26 4

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