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Hostile reception for Rafa as Blues draw a blank

Rafael Benitez drew his first game in charge of Chelsea after playing out a goalless draw with champions Manchester City. Benitez was subjected to a ferocious reception from the Stamford Bridge crowd as they made it clear they didn't want the former Li...

Rafael Benitez drew his first game in charge of Chelsea after playing out a goalless draw with champions Manchester City. Benitez was subjected to a ferocious reception from the Stamford Bridge crowd as they made it clear they didn’t want the former Liverpool man at the helm of their club.

Benitez, who made unflattering comments about Chelsea during his tenure at Liverpool, was jeered before and during the game by supporters who also were armed with signs demanding Benitez to be ousted already.

The game itself was less than entertaining to say the least with neither side able to break down each other’s defence. Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany was able to suppress Fernando Torres all afternoon as the striker showed no immediate signs of a revival in form under his old manager.

Chelsea’s best opportunity of the game did fall to the Spanish striker however, but he could only lash his shot over Joe Hart’s cross bar after a neat lay off from Eden Hazard. Ashley Cole also forced a good save from Hart with a long range drive, however referee Chris Foy failed to award Chelsea the corner afterwards, much to Cole’s disapproval.

The visitors had their fair share of chances as well, David Silva and Sergio Aguero both should have done better with first half headers, while Petr Cech saved smartly from Pablo Zabaleta.

In truth, this game was a low key affair with neither team really doing enough to win. It leaves Chelsea at fourth and a point behind West Brom, whilst Manchester City remain second.

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I have to say I was less than impressed by Benitez’s approach to this game. I went into it thinking, “okay, let’s give the man a chance, you never know.” I have never been a fan of Benitez and probably never will be (mainly due to his bare faced audacity and sheer hypocrisy after insulting us when he was at Liverpool and now suddenly thinking that everything is peachy), but this game really highlighted for me that he is not the man that we need.

I noticed first of all that we seemed to be playing a lot of long balls up to Torres, which to me just seems like an exercise in futility. Torres isn’t going to control a raking 70 yard pass with his chest, swivel and bury it in the back of the net. A certain Mr D Drogba might have but sadly, we do not have the luxury of calling on Didi any more. Kompany dealt with Torres all day long and frustrated him all game. Torres is much happier receiving a pass on the ground which he can then go on to do something with. Forget the long balls! THEY DON’T WORK.

Secondly, can someone please explain to me why Romeu was brought on for Mikel? Was Rafa playing for a draw? Does he realise WBA are above us? Swapping a CDM for a CDM is such a backwards and ridiculous move at 0-0, I just can’t get my head around it. Bringing on someone like Bertrand or (here’s a wild thought) Marin would have made much more sense and would have created a few more chances that might have changed the game.

As for his oblivious reaction to the boos and jeers, well, as far as I’m concerned Rafa, you’ve made your bed so sleep in it. Don’t openly criticise a team and then expect its supporters to welcome you with open arms. That’s not how it works.

What are everybody’s views on Rafa, our new gaffer? Be sure to comment or leave me a tweet!

follow me on twitter @sebbudd

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