Sport : Football

Mata welcomes Benitez arrival

22nd November 2012, 11:30pm

Bet with SkyBet  Chelsea Specials. Click here to bet.

Mata: Backing Benitez

Mata: Backing Benitez

Juan Mata has hailed Rafael Benitez as "a great coach" following his fellow Spaniard's appointment as Chelsea manager.

Mata became the first Blues player to react publicly to the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and he has now led the way in responding to the controversial decision to hand former Liverpool boss Benitez the reins until the end of the season.

He told the Daily Mail: "Rafa Benitez is a great coach.

"He's got lots of experience and won a lot of trophies with Liverpool, taking them to a very high level. He knows the Premier League too."

Benitez's appointment has been seen by some as owner Roman Abramovich's latest attempt to get £50million flop Fernando Torres scoring.

Torres has never recaptured the form he showed under Benitez at Anfield but Mata said: "I have total faith in Fernando Torres. He will score goals. He is a great striker and a great professional."

Di Matteo was sacked after Chelsea's 3-0 Champions League defeat at Juventus, in which he dropped Torres for the first time.

Mata added: "Di Matteo's sacking means things haven't been going well but we can't just blame it all on the Juventus game.

"We can't just focus on what happened recently.

"It was a really tough blow losing to Juventus. It was a sad night for all the players. We thought we could at least draw, if not win the game."

Mata took to social media on Wednesday to wish Di Matteo well after Abramovich ruthlessly dispensed with the Italian only hours after the defeat in Turin.

He posted on Facebook: "would like to thank him for all this time with us and wish him the best of luck for the future.

"As a player, he has been a legend for the 'Blues'.

"With him as a manager, we won our first Champions League. He will always be remembered. Good luck Robbie!"


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Bet with SkyBet  Chelsea Specials. Click here to bet.

Football Videos

    Delph - Rollercoaster ride

    Delph - Rollercoaster ride

    30-March-2015

    England's Fabian Delph says his rise to England regular has been a rapid one and adds that he wants to see Roy Hodgson stay on as manager.

    Fabianski disappointed with draw

    Fabianski disappointed with draw

    29-March-2015

    Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski felt his side deserved to win their Group D clash against Republic of Ireland.

    Strachan - That was terrific

    Strachan - That was terrific

    29-March-2015

    Scotland boss Gordon Strachan said he's looking forward to going home and watching the game again after his side beat Gibraltar 6-1 in Euro qualifying.

    Fletcher - A hat-trick to cherish

    Fletcher - A hat-trick to cherish

    29-March-2015

    Sunderland and Scotland striker Steven Fletcher said he will cherish his hat-trick after his side won 6-1 against Gibraltar in European qualifying.

    Sky Bet

      • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

    Facebook Favourites