Boos for New Chelsea Manager, Benitez as Chelsea earns Man City draw

Rafael Benitez’s tenure as Chelsea interim coach began beneath a hail of boos on Sunday as the club’s fans voiced their displeasure at his arrival.
Benitez was appointed on a short-term basis on Wednesday after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked, but some Chelsea fans have protested against the move due to the Spaniard’s former role as coach of rivals Liverpool.
The mutiny was loud and sustained and, for Rafael Benítez, callous in its intentions. His team only sporadically threatened to lift the mood and Benítez’s first match as Chelsea’s manager will be remembered only for the vitriol that was waiting for him inside Stamdford Bridge.
Benítez should probably just be grateful that Manchester City were just as flat and uninspiring because goodness knows what kind of reaction there would have been if Roberto Mancini’s team had put away one of the game’s few chances.
As it was, it was difficult to remember another time when manager has faced this kind of outpouring of hostility.
“We don’t want you here,” was the general gist, although that is with the expletives removed. Stamford Bridge was an unhappy place, to put it mildly, and this anti-Benítez campaign might well become the soundtrack to their season.
Perhaps the negative vibes got through to the players, too. Chelsea have rarely looked so devoid of imagination and Mancini could be forgiven for regarding this as a missed opportunity.
His team had the better of the match but did not do enough to explore whether Chelsea might be vulnerable and get the win that would have taken them back to the top of the table. The match, put bluntly, was a stinker.
Benítez will have a better idea now of how Fernando Torres has regressed on another difficult day for the Chelsea striker. Torres, however, was far from alone in this regard. It was rare to see so many flair players lacking their usual touch and subtlety and, for Benítez, the only real encouragement can come from the way a new-look back four restricted City to so few opportunities.
As much as they might not like their new manager, Chelsea’s supporters will have to concede his decision to play Branislav Ivanovic alongside David Luiz was one of good sense.

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