Rafa Benitez hopes he has finally won over his critics after guiding Chelsea to Europa League glory with a win over Benfica.
Since arriving in November to replace Roberto Di Matteo on an interim basis, Benitez has operated to a background of simmering supporter discontent, with a section of the Blues faithful making it clear they did not want him.
However, he has still managed to guide the Blues into next season’s Champions League and goals from Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic, the latter in stoppage time, clinched a 2-1 win over Benfica at the Amsterdam ArenA to secure some silverware as well.
Benitez is sure to leave at the end of the season but can take satisfaction from the job he has done and hopes the critics can now appreciate what he has done since taking charge.
“If you have to win for people to realise the job we are doing? Well, we won. Hopefully now people will say it is not bad,” he said. “It depends on the perception. But if you analyse everything, we won the Europa League with one striker for every single game.
“We managed players with yellow cards. Here we only had 18 players. If you put everything together you will realise how hard it is. I think we did well.”
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