Benitez targets Europa League glory

Interim manager Rafael Benitez looked ahead to the Europa League immediately after Chelsea’s Champions League exit.

Chelsea walloped Nordsjaelland 6-1 but Juventus’ victory over Shakhtar Donetsk meant the Italian side went through as group winners and the Blues became the first holders to go out of the tournament before the knockout stage.

Chelsea finished level on points with Shakhtar but the Ukrainian side progressed because they scored more goals at Stamford Bridge than the defending champions managed in the reverse fixture.

“We have to start thinking about the Europa League. It’s not the best competition if you lose early but it’s good if you can get to the semi-finals or final,” Benitez told Sky Sports.

Despite the disappointment of Chelsea’s exit, Benitez drew positives from their resounding victory – their first win since his controversial arrival at the club.

There were two goals for the much maligned Fernando Torres in an excellent team performance.

Benitez said: “I was always sure about the quality and the commitment of the players. Today we could see their intensity.

“For me tonight was the confirmation of everything I was watching in the training sessions. The main thing with Fernando Torres is that if we create chances, he will score goals.”

More reaction to follow later.



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