The champions of Europe faced global humiliation this weekend after the Chelsea blues were defeated in the final of the Club World Cup 1-0 by the Brazilian league team Corinthians.
This came as an embarrassment for the London club as they were the first European champions in the last six years that has failed to win the Club World Cup title. Newly appointed manager Rafael Benitez was given praise over the young squad he had named against Monterrey on Thursday, and even more so for the performance that followed.
The same did not come in the cups final, as Chelsea lacked spirit and the will to win during the 90 minutes. Chelsea only came to life in the dying stages of the match, when forward Fernando Torres failed to finish off 3 chances to take the game into extra time. English centre back Gary Cahill also failed to execute a chance on goal, soon before being given the marching orders after tangling with a Corinthians centre forward.
In the after match conference, Rafael Benitez said “Against a good team, we had four clear chances, that means a lot in this competition. In a final you don’t see so many clear chances, that is the positive thing. Again with Torres, try to find the positives, he was there, he had chances, he scored the goal that was disallowed. I agree that he has to take these chances in a final because it’s not easy to create too many. If you have two or three you have to score, at least he was winning a lot of balls in the air, he was fresh and you could see that physically he was improving.”
Benitez followed on to say “Our players have some quality, but physically some of them aren’t so strong. We had possession and very good counter-attacks and space between the lines. But it was a question of taking chances. We were not surprised by Corinthians because we saw them before so we knew what they were like. You could see they have experience, and every second they were around the referee, and doing well, and time wasting near the end. I don’t say that as a negative, they were managing the game quite well.”
Chelsea are now on the long flight home to get ready for their Capital One Cup game against Leeds, followed by a clash against Premier League leaders Manchester United.