Benitez Booed By Fans As Chelsea Fail To Sparkle

Benitez Booed By Fans As Chelsea Fail To Sparkle
November 26, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Rafael Benitez’s reign at Chelsea got off to a negative start, with the new manager being booed by the crowd at Stamford Bridge during his first game in charge as the Blues drew 0-0 with Manchester City on Sunday.

The former Liverpool boss replaced Roberto Di Matteo at the helm last week after the Italian was dismissed for a run of just two wins in eight, but Benitez arrival in west London was met with dismay by the Blues fans.

BBC Sport website said the coach suffered a fiercely hostile reception from Chelsea’s supporters as his managerial reign opened with a goalless draw.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich appointed the coach on an interim basis after sacking Di Matteo only six months after winning the Champions League and FA Cup.

Benitez’s arrival has met with an angry response in the wake of his old rivalry with the fans during his time at Anfield – and they made their strength of feeling abundantly clear.

The mediocre affair did little to lift spirits, with City, still unbeaten in the league, marginally the better side but unable to fashion the victory that would have taken them back above Manchester United at the top of the table.

Benitez was left with plenty to ponder after the frosty response from his own fans, who directed abusive chants at him during the game and also delivered a minute’s applause for Di Matteo after 16 minutes, in honour of the Italian who wore the number 16 shirt as a player.

And there was no instant revival for Fernando Torres as he struggled once more — although Benitez will be pleased with a clean sheet.

The antipathy directed towards Benitez continued throughout a subdued first half, with City creating what few opportunities there were.

David Silva headed off target from an inviting cross from Pablo Zabaleta, who saw a shot from the edge of the area blocked by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Sergio Aguero missed City’s best chance four minutes before half-time, heading straight at Cech from eight yards after being set up by strike partner Edin Dzeko.

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English Premier League - EPLWorld