Benitez happy with display and stands by timing of Ba substitution

Under-fire interim manager Rafael Benitez insisted he was happy with aspects of Chelsea’s performance despite them slumping to a second shock home defeat in the space of a week.

Their 2-0 loss against Swansea in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg left the Welsh side within touching distance of Wembley – and came seven days after the Blues were beaten by QPR.

Two terrible mistakes by Branislav Ivanovic led to the goals and angry home fans directed their anger at the result towards Benitez.

But the Spaniard said: “I think the team was creating a lot of chances.

“We could have scored two or three goals in the first half and one or two in the second. We then made mistakes and paid for them.

“We had plenty of chances and possession. We created the chances we needed to create but made mistakes and conceded two goals.

“If you analyse the second half, we could have scored – we were in control and doing a lot of good things, but in football you have to take your chances.”

He added: “Any player making mistakes is not the issue. The main thing is that players try to do something after making a mistake and Ivanovic did that.”

Benitez waited until 10 minutes from the end to bring recent signing Demba Ba on as a substitute.

The striker was booked for diving after going down under a challenge in the box and later netted only for the effort to be ruled out for offside.

Asked if he felt Ba should have been brought on sooner, Benitez said: “I don’t think so. We had one or two chances at the end but the team was creating chances from the first minute.

“Watching the replay, the [offside] goal was a goal as it was level. For the penalty, it was not a yellow card and whether it was a penalty depends on the position of the referee.”



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