Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez was left disappointed by his
team’s efforts as they lost 2-1 to Southampton.
First-half goals from Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert either
side of John Terry’s header ensured it was Saints who claimed the
points and Benitez admitted the performance was not good enough as
they dropped to fourth.
“You have to be really disappointed when you do not win,” the
Spaniard told Sky Sports.
“In the first half we did not play with the intensity required.
In the second half we were much better and had more chances but the
decisions in the final third were wrong. At least we had
“We knew we were in a really good position and we’re still in a
good position but in the remaining games we must do something more
“We have to start thinking about the next game as we cannot
change the result now.”
That next game is an FA Cup quarter-final replay against
Manchester United on Monday and that fixture surely played its part
in Chelsea making seven changes for the game at St Mary’s.
Asked if he had been forced into resting the likes of Eden
Hazard, Benitez said: “You say it, we were forced to do it and we
The travelling Chelsea supporters were again left frustrated by
the manager’s substitutions as Demba Ba was left on the bench
despite the team trailing.
Asked if he now considers dissenting voices a normal part of
life at the club, Benitez said: “I concentrate on the game. That is
Jason Banton’s 45th-minute strike in front of a Devon derby
crowd of 13,251 at Home Park lifted the Pilgrims to 20th place,
four points above the drop zone – and John Sheridan’s side also
have a game in hand.
Banton’s effort went in off the post, while Jamie Cureton missed
a great chance for Exeter late on.
At the Pirelli Stadium, Drew Talbot’s 52nd-minute goal gave
Chesterfield a narrow victory over automatic promotion hopefuls
Gillingham stretched their lead at the top of the table to six
points despite being forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at play-off
Starting the day five points clear of closest rivals Port Vale,
it took Gills just three minutes to open the scoring when Danny
Kedwell fired home from the edge of the box.
Jamille Matt equalised for Fleetwood just past the half-hour and
after Charlie Allen put the visitors back in front, Matt struck
again to seal a point.
York crawled off the bottom of the table after battling to a
goalless draw at Bristol Rovers, but Plymouth’s win means the
Minstermen still find themselves three points off safety.