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Dublin: 10°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Benitez blames tiredness, not tinkering, for Chelsea loss

The Spaniard also revealed that the Demba Ba transfer has yet to be officially confirmed.

Rafa Benetiz attempts to gee up his players.
Rafa Benetiz attempts to gee up his players.
Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire

CHELSEA MANAGER RAFA BENITEZ said he was frustrated by 1-0 home defeat to struggling QPR last night.

Substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the only goal in the 78th minute as Harry Redknapp’s side collected their second win of the season, their first away from Loftus Road, to move level with Reading on 13 points.

The defeat shocked most fans at Stamford Bridge, especially Benitez.

“We were playing well and had confidence that we could carry on performing well,” he said.

“We changed some players but, in fairness, only Marko Marin wasn’t playing regularly. You could see that some players were a little bit tired.”

The interim boss added, “They sat deep; we were not precise in possession.

“We were not passing the ball with accuracy and with the high tempo that we were expecting. At the end, we made a mistake and gave them a chance. Too many things all at once were not working for us.”

Take a load off

Benitez said resting players should not have been a problem.

“In the last games [Juan] Mata has been playing, Oscar has been playing too,” he said.

“It was just Marko Marin that was the difference, but we cannot carry on with the same players in every game.” Benetiz added:

If you play against a team that are bottom of the table at home, then you have to trust your players and I trust them.

“They were doing well and we thought we could be fine. Maybe in other areas we were a little bit tired, and we then lacked the intensity and the pace in the pass and in the movement that we have come to expect.”

The Spaniard also revealed that, despite Alan Pardew’s claims otherwise on Sky Sports last night, the transfer of Demba Ba from Newcatle to Chelsea has yet to be officially confirmed.

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“Officially, he is not our player,” said Benitez, “so I can not say too much.”

Belief for Rangers

QPR manager Harry Redknapp said the win showed they have what it takes to stay in the Premier League.

Rangers ended a three-game losing run with Wednesday’s shock victory, their first top-flight win at Stamford Bridge since 1979.

“After Sunday’s defeat by Liverpool it was difficult to convince anyone we could survive,” said Redknapp.

But the players have set the standard with this win and to get out of this mess they have to do it every week.”

“That was our first away win in the league since October 2011 and let’s hope we can build on it. There’s still a long way to go but that was encouraging.

“The players worked their socks off and they got their rewards. We deserved it and it was a fantastic performance.

“We had a good meeting after the Liverpool match and I convinced the players we can stay up.

“Everybody else thought I was mad but I do genuinely believe it. We’re not doomed, we can turn it around.”

Things do not get any easier for QPR, who face Tottenham (home), West Ham (away) and Manchester City (home) in their next three League games.

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