Football News

Benitez anticipates Swansea test

Created on 20 Dec., 2012 3:24 AM GMT

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez is looking forward to a challenging League Cup semi-final against Swansea after beating Leeds.

Benitez saw his side go behind in the first half of their quarter-final at Elland Road, but the visitors came roaring back to win 5-1 and book their place in the last four.

Fellow Premier League side Swansea City stand in the way of a place in the final for Chelsea, and Benitez expects a tough encounter over two legs against the Welsh outfit.

"Swansea are a good team and we have to do well in a semi-final of any competition," he told Sky Sports.

"They like to play football on the floor and it will be interesting. Every competition is important for us and a top side like us has to win every competition."

Benitez was impressed by the performance his players produced so soon after returning from the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, where Chelsea lost 1-0 to Corinthians in the final.

"The team was good in the first half, their goalkeeper was doing well,' he said.

"The reaction in the second half was fantastic, especially with travelling back from Japan and having jet lag.

"We were looking for character and the reaction was so good, we have to consider it for the future. To know the players and spend time with them is important.

"I was really pleased with the time we spent together in Japan. I was comfortable with the job from the first day and I will try my best until the end."

Leeds manager Neil Warnock meanwhile had little cause for complaint after seeing his team outclassed by a superior force.

"To concede as early as that in the second half against world-class players you're going to be in trouble," Warnock told Sky Sports.

"It was such a relief for them to get back into the game. Then they took over and were too good for us."

Next up for Chelsea is a Premier League encounter at home to Aston Villa on Sunday, while Leeds return to Championship action with the visit of Middlesbrough to Elland Road a day earlier.

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