Benitez delighted with away victory
By Football News
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez was satisfied to win 2-1 at Basel in their Europa League semi-final with the aid of two precious away goals.
The Spaniard questioned the dubious late penalty awarded to Basel but was unwavering in his praise for David Luiz, who put Chelsea back ahead with a stoppage-time free kick.
"I think we had to work hard until the end, I think we had chances to counter attack and we could have scored a second goal but the penalty was a surprise to everyone," Benitez said.
Fabian Schlar equalised from the spot three minutes from time after Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have fouled Valentin Stocker, and Benitez believes the injustice of the penalty spurred his side on.
"I think in the end our second goal was good enough for us but we are a little bit worried about this penalty.
"I think it's true that we had a feeling that we didn't deserve to concede this goal so we have extra motivation.
"David Luiz is really good at taking free-kicks and you can say if we were lucky or not, the keeper could have saved it, but in the end we have scored the goal and I think everybody will be thinking that is fair.
"It was a very intense game with a high tempo. We knew that we were playing against a team that hasn't lost at home."
Benitez knew only too well of Basel's threat after they knocked out Tottenham in the previous round and said the tie was from done ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
"They have beaten a lot of teams and they play with this intensity which is good for their fans so we had to do our job and I think we did that really well."
Basel manager Murat Yakin said it was a case of two well organised teams split by the smallest of margins.
"I saw my team try to dominate the match and be creative for the entire game, that pleased me," Yakin said.
"We were very well organised but Chelsea were also well organised and set up very well in defence. We just couldn't find the free spaces that were needed to unlock this defence."