Rafa pleased with clean sheet

  • Last Updated: December 27 2012, 8:59 GMT

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez believes the 1-0 win at Norwich on Boxing Day was just as important as their weekend thrashing of Aston Villa.

Rafael Benitez: Watched his side edge past Norwich
Rafael Benitez: Watched his side edge past Norwich

The Blues needed a special first-half strike from Juan Mata to beat a determined Canaries team, just three days after they had hammered Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The Boxing Day victory over Norwich will not have drawn as many plaudits as the demolition job on Sunday, but Benitez was equally as delighted by Chelsea's display.

"I think it is important to see the team working hard and defending well," he said. "We have another clean sheet after Villa, where we were playing really offensive football.

"We could manage and we could control against a good team. They were well organised and pushed and were quite dangerous on the counter-attack, but we were doing our job in defence and that is something we have improved and can keep on improving.

"This kind of game - 1-0 - a free-kick, corner or counter-attack can make a difference so until the end they were pushing so we did well."

Heading into the fixture, the Canaries had lost just once since going down 4-1 at Stamford Bridge on October 6.

A different approach was required at Carrow Road, and Benitez promised there was more to come from his players.

"We can manage different kinds of games and still get results," he said.

"There are not a lot of teams who can play football like we did the other day and also show that we can defend and work hard in difficult conditions (at Norwich) with the rain at the end. We are in a good position but can still improve."


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