Benitez calls for Chelsea improvement against Man City

Chelsea may have made safe progress into the Europa League semi-final after seeing off Rubin Kazan on aggregate, but interim manager Rafael Benitez is far from happy – calling on his team to buck up their ideas in defence when they play Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, the BBC has reported.

Benitez watched on as Rubin gave Chelsea a fright, winning 3-2 on the night but unable to overturn the first-leg deficit, which allowed the Premier League team to go through 5-4 on aggregate.

Fernando Torres’ first-half goal appeared to put to bed any chances of a Rubin turnaround but Benitez believes Chelsea’s second-half performance, particularly in defence, allowed the Russian side back into the tie – and the Spaniard does not want to see the same kind of lax showing at Wembley, when City are the opposition.

We have to stop crosses and deal much better with them – things we couldn’t do against Rubin,” Benitez said. He added: “I was happy with the first half, but we have to improve on our second-half performance. I’m disappointed because we didn’t defend well in the second half.

It is not just the defenders who have to improve, because it is the whole team who defends. We have to carefully analyse our defending by watching the match video.

The game in Moscow was Chelsea’s 59th of the season, and sixth in the last 16 days. If they were to reach both the FA Cup final and the Europa League final, it would mean playing a total of 70 games for the year. Should Chelsea win the Europa League, they would become the first team to win the Europa League, the re-vamped UEFA Cup, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Champions League.

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