Premier League

No winning start for Benitez

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Sun, 25 Nov 2012 19:13:00

Vitesse Arnhem claimed a 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven at the Philips Stadion on Sunday to move to within two points of the Eredivisie leaders.

All looked to be going to plan for the hosts when Timothy Derijck put them ahead after five minutes, but Jonathan Reis equalised 10 minutes later and then set up the winner for Wilfried Bony 16 minutes from time.

The result ensured Vitesse - whose last away game was a 2-0 win at Ajax - finished the weekend in third spot, level on points with second-placed FC Twente.

Twente lost ground in the title race as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw against PEC Zwolle in Enschede.

Dusan Tadic put Steve McClaren's side ahead from the penalty spot three minutes into the second half, only for Denni Avdic to get PEC back on level terms seven minutes later.

Joey van der Berg then looked to have won it for the visitors when he struck two minutes from the end, but there was still time for Luc Castaignos to salvage a point for Twente.

Champions Ajax enjoyed a 2-1 away win at Roda JC, but had to come from behind in order to return to winning ways following their humbling 4-1 Champions League loss against Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

Guus Hupperts had given the third-bottom hosts the lead in the 14th minute but two goals in the final 10 minutes - from Christian Eriksen and substitute Lasse Schone - turned the game on its head for Frank de Boer's side.

Feyenoord remained level on points with Ajax after their 2-0 success at AZ Alkmaar, secured courtesy of second-half strikes from 17-year-old midfielder Tonny Vilhena and Ruben Schaken. AZ had Dirk Marcellis sent off between the goals for a late challenge on Jean-Paul Boetius.

The Spaniard has succeeded the sacked Roberto Di Matteo on an interim basis and his former connection with Liverpool has made him unpopular in London.

Sections of the Chelsea support held up banners against Benitez and they also stood and applauded in the 16th minute, which was Di Matteo's shirt number in his playing days, before the game ended in a forgettable 0-0 draw.

Sergio Aguero wasted the best chance of a turgid Premier League encounter in driving rain, which the visitors had the better of in the first half but the home side the second.

The draw moved unbeaten champions City to within a point of new leaders Manchester United, leaving Chelsea fourth.

Benitez has shored up the Blues' defence during his four days in charge but he has his work cut out to get them playing the scintillating football demanded by the watching Roman Abramovich - and to get Fernando Torres scoring.

But that is nothing compared to winning over the fans on today's evidence.

Chelsea's stadium announcer was drowned out by jeers as he appealed for calm in order to pay tribute to former Chelsea boss Dave Sexton, whose death was confirmed on Sunday.

There were also expletive-laden chants of "you're not wanted here", and signs reading 'Benitez out' - coupled with songs and banners hailing the sacked Di Matteo.

The off-field action was of more interest than events on the pitch, where, although Chelsea kept a first clean sheet in 11 games, they never truly looked like scoring.

Torres, who worked with Benitez at Liverpool, was closely marked by City captain Vincent Kompany and the Spaniard again appeared shadow of his former self.

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