Benitez plays down row between Chelsea teammates Lampard and Luiz

Rafael Benitez has rejected suggestions that an argument between Frank Lampard and David Luiz revealed a rift in the Chelsea dressing room, instead insisting that the players were arguing about a football issue that was corrected at half-time in their Europa League defeat to Rubin Kazan, the Daily Mail has reported.

Chelsea lost 3-2 on the night to the Russian side but won 5-4 on aggregate, putting them through to yet another semi-final this season. The Blues take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, were knocked out by Swansea City in the same stage of the League Cup and competed in the Club World Cup semi-final, too, having won last season’s Champions League.

Lampard was seen pointing his finger at his Brazilian teammate Luiz at half-time, with the newspaper suggesting the pair were arguing about defensive positioning after a 45 minutes that ended 1-0 to the Premier League side. They had to be separated by Petr Cech and Yossi Benayoun, but Benitez believes the disagreement is actually a positive sign.

The interim manager said: “It’s always good to have players arguing about things that happen on the pitch, so you can correct these things at half-time. We were talking about that, adjusting positions, so it’s fine.

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