Rafael Benitez blames poor defending as Chelsea fails to overcome Spurs
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez criticized his side’s defending following the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. The Spaniard claims his sides failure to control the ball allowed Tottenham Hotspur to equalize and deny Chelsea the opportunity to win the game.
Tottenham Hotspur came back from behind twice with goals from Emanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson after Oscar drew first blood and Ramires put Chelsea into the lead for the second time in the day.
“I think that we had four or five counterattacks to finish the game, and we didn't do it,” Rafael Benitez told Sky Sports. “[Spurs] were pushing and we had to defend but we had the chances on the counterattack to score the third goal and finish it.
“We could defend both [goals] a little bit better because we are talking about transition defending when we conceded the first goal and with the second it was the same.
“I think [the second] was offside anyway, the position of Adebayor - but we still had to stay more compact and be more aggressive in defense.
“The second half was too open. In the first half we had control of the game, we gave them the opportunities to play on the counterattack and it was a great goal.
“When we were winning the game we had to have more control and all the counterattacks that we had we didn't finish so it makes a big difference.
“I think that we had the chances, not clear chances in front of the keeper but in the counterattack you have to do something more.
“We had the chances to score the third goal, but we didn't do it and as you say credit to Tottenham because they were pushing and attacking.”
The Blues are scheduled for a Villa Park where they will play against Aston Villa on May 11 before taking up the challenge of defeating Benfica four days later. Chelsea’s last game of the season will be against Everton at Goodison Park.
Chelsea will have to avoid losing points the remaining two games of the season if they want to acquire Champions League action for next season. Rafael Benitez believes Chelsea are now in prime position to qualify for the Champions League.
“We are in the position we said before, we have to win one game to guarantee the top four and we will try to win both to get in the top three,” Rafael Benitez added.