No winning start for Rafa Benitez as Chelsea draw with Manchester City
Last Updated: 25/11/12 8:19pm
Rafa Benitez could not inspire Chelsea to victory over Manchester City in his first game in charge and was the subject of protests from some fans in a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.
Best of the Game
- Man of the match: Vincent Kompany overcame concerns about his fitness to provide Manchester City with a rock at the back
- Chance of the match: Sergio Aguero had a header in the first half which he placed straight at Petr Cech
- Moment of the match: Fernando Torres being outpaced by Kompany and then James Milner before being tackled in the first half summed up the Spaniard's game
- Talking Point: Will Rafa Benitez win over the Chelsea fans who protested against his appointment and showed their support of Roberto Di Matteo?
The Spaniard has succeeded the sacked Roberto Di Matteo on an interim basis and his former connection with Liverpool has made him unpopular in London.
Sections of the Chelsea support held up banners against Benitez and they also stood and applauded in the 16th minute, which was Di Matteo's shirt number in his playing days, before the game ended in a forgettable 0-0 draw.
Sergio Aguero wasted the best chance of a turgid Premier League encounter in driving rain, which the visitors had the better of in the first half but the home side the second.
The draw moved unbeaten champions City to within a point of new leaders Manchester United, leaving Chelsea fourth.
Benitez has shored up the Blues' defence during his four days in charge but he has his work cut out to get them playing the scintillating football demanded by the watching Roman Abramovich - and to get Fernando Torres scoring.
But that is nothing compared to winning over the fans on today's evidence.
Chelsea's stadium announcer was drowned out by jeers as he appealed for calm in order to pay tribute to former Chelsea boss Dave Sexton, whose death was confirmed on Sunday.
There were also expletive-laden chants of "you're not wanted here", and signs reading 'Benitez out' - coupled with songs and banners hailing the sacked Di Matteo.
Benitez not bothered by boos
The off-field action was of more interest than events on the pitch, where, although Chelsea kept a first clean sheet in 11 games, they never truly looked like scoring.
Torres, who worked with Benitez at Liverpool, was closely marked by City captain Vincent Kompany and the Spaniard again appeared shadow of his former self.
|Chelsea||Team Statistics||Manchester City|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|1||Shots on Target||5|
|4||Shots off Target||3|
|44.2||1st Half Poss.||55.8|
|40.1||2nd Half Poss.||59.9|
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Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||35||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||34||33|