Rafael Benitez hails Chelsea’s x-factor Juan Mata after victory over Norwich

12/27/12 in Soccer   |   JamesSmith23   |   1413 respect

Blog Photo - Rafael Benitez hails Chelsea’s x-factor Juan Mata after victory over Norwich

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez reckons Juan Mata is one of the best players in the English Premier League. The 24-year-old Spain international took Chelsea to a 1-0 victory by scoring the winner against a resilient Norwich side on Wednesday.

Rafael Benitez, who has been asked to fill in as interim caretaker of Chelsea till the end of season, hailed Juan Mata for his consistent form this season. The former Liverpool manager commended Juan Mata for “working hard” and “making the difference” at crucial moments.

“He is playing really well,” Juan Mata said. “Even without the ball he is working hard but when we are in possession he is making the difference, I always say the same; if the team are playing well these players can make the difference.

“I think the Premier League has a lot of good players and Mata is one of the best for sure - he can be even better. Mata is a player who is dangerous - inside the box and outside the box, we are really pleased with him.

“The team has won three games in a row since Japan...against Man United and Arsenal they (Norwich) have won so we knew it could be tough, I'm pleased for the team and pleased for Juan.”

Juan Mata has been in phenomenal form since his arrival at Stamford Bridge last year. The young Spaniard has scored 25 goals and assisted 35 times in 83 appearances. This season Juan Mata has already scored 13 goals and provided 15 assists in 29 games.

The former Valencia star has forced Chelsea veterans such as Frank Lampard to the bench. The Chelsea midfield legend Frank Lampard was left on the bench by Rafael Benitez against Norwich City.

Reports suggest Frank Lampard has been asked by the Chelsea board to find a new club this fall. The English midfield maestro is set to be replaced by a striker. Presently, Chelsea’s midfielders such as Juan Mata are shouldering the responsibility to score goals. The addition of a striker will relieve some pressure from the Chelsea team, who have Fernando Torres as their lone striker in the squad. 

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