In what was always going to be a difficult opening game for the former Liverpool boss, he had to endure negative chants throughout from the majority of home fans.
“The good thing is I don’t understand what people were singing, Benitez said.
“I was asking: ‘What are they saying?’ But I don’t care. I’m just focused on the game. I want to change the perception. How? By working hard, doing my best and winning games.”
However, the difficulty for Benitez goes beyond the fact that he had a fierce rivalry with his new club while manager of Liverpool.
He is taking over from Roberto Di Matteo, a man who the fans have great affection for from his playing days at Chelsea and who brought the club their first Champions League success in that historic night in Munich.
Following last season’s triumphs, it begs the question whether there really is anything that Benitez could do which would win over the fans.