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Benitez claims Manager of the Month for April
03 May, 2013 6:29 PM GMT
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has won the Premier League Manager of the Month award for April.
The Stamford Bridge outfit finished the month unbeaten in the league by beating Sunderland, Fulham and Swansea and drawing with Liverpool.
It marks the sixth time the Spaniard has collected the accolade and his first since March 2009, when he claimed the prize while manager of Liverpool.
The 53-year-old becomes the first Chelsea manager to win the award since Carlo Ancelotti was commended in April 2011. Benitez will leave his position at the end of the season after enduring a difficult relationship with the club's fans due to his time at Anfield.
Current Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has been strongly linked with a return to the club and would be a popular appointment among supporters.
But despite the tough relationship with those in the terraces, Benitez has led the club to the FA Cup semi-final and the final of the UEFA Europa League following a 5-2 aggregate victory over Basel on Thursday.
They also currently head the chase for third place in the Premier League, sitting one point ahead of Arsenal in fourth and three ahead of Tottenham in fifth.
Meanwhile, Manchester United striker Robin van Persie received the Player of the Month award for the second time this season after also picking up the December prize.
Van Persie scored six goals in April - including a first-half hat-trick against Aston Villa - as the club claimed a 20th top-flight title.
The Dutchman currently has 25 league goals, two ahead of nearest rival Luis Suarez, and looks certain to claim the Golden Boot due to the Uruguayan's ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic.