Rafa misses season end celebrations after Chelsea grab 2-1 win over Everton
Chelsea’s interim boss Rafael Benitez led the Blues to a 2-1 victory over Everton at Stamford Bridge before ending his tenure at the London club. The Spaniard decided not to be part of the traditional farewell from the fans at Stamford Bridge where players and fans mutually thank each other for the service and support provided throughout the year.
The game was an interesting affair for speculation about the next season for many reasons. Firstly, Chelsea managed to pick a win over Manchester United’s incumbent manager David Moyes. Fernando Torres scored his first goal in the Premier League this season. Sadly, it would be his last as well.
Meanwhile, Chelsea captain John Terry and Frank Lampard addressed the fans at Stamford Bridge, who started chanting and demanding Jose Mourinho to return to the club. The celebrations continued for a while, but Rafael Benitez failed to appear even for a little bit during the proceedings, although the former Liverpool manager led Chelsea to Europa League glory on Wednesday.
“It's for the families and the players,” Rafael Benitez said. “I received hundreds of messages, more than 200 messages on the website, from Chelsea fans saying thank you very much. For me that is enough, and also the players telling me things privately. The majority of [the supporters] were very positive in the end. That is good. We couldn't change the opinion of some of them. We tried to do our best until the end.”
The game was Rafael Benitez’s 28th victory in the 48 games he has led Chelsea through in his seven months at the club. In spite of improving Chelsea’s form, the Spaniard has been severely criticized by factions of Chelsea supporters.
Interestingly, Manchester United and Manchester City will have new managers next season. Manchester United stole the Premier League crown from Manchester City (runner-up) this season. After securing a third spot on the Premier League table, Rafael Benitez expressed he believed that Chelsea will contend for the League title next year, irrespective of the fact whether Jose Mourinho arrives at the club or not.
“This team will be challenging for the title next year,” Rafael Benitez said. “It has been a great experience. We've taken a team, a team in transition with young players, and now we have left a good team, with more experience, with good character, scoring goals, more balance.
“I think it will be good for the next manager, because he will have a very good team and also the owner [Roman Abramovich] will bring in more players.”