Rafael Benitez admitted Chelsea were outclassed by Corinthians
who won their Club World Cup final 1-0 in Yokohama.
The Blues’ interim boss insisted his side only had themselves to
blame as Corinthians dominated the match and Benitez admitted it
seemed to mean more to the Brazilians, whose physical pressing game
gave Chelsea very little room for manoeuvre.
“This is the final of the World Cup for the South American
teams. You could see this from the first minute,” Benitez said.
“Our players have some quality but, physically, some of them
aren’t so strong.”
Some of Corinthians’ players also tried every trick in the book
to get the referee on side, forward Emerson repeatedly rolling
around the floor under contact.
Benitez added: “You could see they have experience and, every
second, they were around the referee and doing well – and wasting
[time] round near the end.
“I don’t say that as a negative. They were ‘managing’ the game
Emerson was also at the centre of Gary Cahill’s late sending
off, which Benitez admitted may have been the correct decision.
“He lost his temper,” Benitez said. “I didn’t see it in the
game, but I’ve seen it on the replay and it could be a red
Fernando Torres missed a sitter for the Blues five minutes from
time and when he did find the net with a header he was ruled
Benitez tried to remain upbeat: “Try to find the positives in
the situation. He was there. He had the chances. He scored the goal
that was disallowed.
“He has to take these chances in a final because it’s not easy
to create too many. If you have two or three, you have to
Corinthians boss Tite questioned Benitez’s team changes
following Chelsea’s semi-final win over Monterrey.
“I was surprised by Benitez,” he said. “They were a light team
when the previous side was physical.”
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The visitors led when Brown was deceived by Iain Davidson’s
37th-minute wonder strike but they responded strongly to level
through substitute Gary Glen.
County could have even won it when skipper Richard Brittain was
put through clean on goal late on only for his shot to clip the
outside of the post.
Brown was not complaining afterwards though as his side had to
be content with maintaining their six-point gap over Dundee in the
“It was a great move but when he (Brittain) hit the post from
what I could see I thought Rab Douglas had saved it,” the former
Celtic goalkeeper said.
“It is just one of those things Richard has had some great
performances this season. On another day it would have crept inside
“We had a few chances at the end and we could maybe have sneaked
it. But the gap is still the same.
“We have a busy Christmas period – it’s just a case of getting
the heads down and picking up as many points as we can.”
Brown admitted he had been deceived by the flight of the ball
for Davidson’s opener.
“New modern balls tend to swing in the air and as soon as it
left his foot I thought it was going to my right but it swung the
other way,” he said.
“When it changes direction there is nothing you can do.
“In the first half we played as well as we could but in the
second half we lifted the tempo. In the second half we created the
County confirmed before the match that Brown had signed a new
deal to remain at the club until the end of the season.
“I actually signed it earlier in the week, that takes me up to
the summer,” said Brown, whose initial deal ran to January.
“Nobody likes to be on the sidelines, but as I’ve said we have a
good squad and we have are a lot of boys on the sidelines who are
pushing for starting places. I just think that is healthy for
County travel to Brown’s former club Celtic next weekend, and he
admitted he was looking forward to his return.
“Everybody expects Celtic to win but shocks can happen,” he
“We will try not to concede early goals – we will try to
frustrate them a bit but you never know what will happen.”
Dundee striker Colin Nish, who also missed a chance near the
end, said: “Ross County could have won it in the last minute when
they hit the post but I think they we could have gone 2-0 up.
“It is not a bad result coming here but I think the boys going
back in the bus will be disappointed.”
He added: “We’ve done all right recently and I can’t see us
going on a losing run again. The boys are defending brilliantly we
just need to put the ball in the back of the net.
“Myself and the other strikers haven’t been doing that in the
last few games – hopefully we can get that back.
“I don’t think anyone could complain with a draw but as I said
if we got that goal to go 2-0 up I think that would have been good
enough for us.”