Premier League

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez delighted with his side's character in 1-0 win at Norwich

Manner of victory delights Benitez

Rafa Benitez: Hailed his side's character in the win at Norwich

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Rafa Benitez hailed the character of his Chelsea players as they battled to a 1-0 win over Norwich at Carrow Road.

Juan Mata's first-half goal proved to be enough to give Chelsea all three points and keep them in third spot in the Premier League.

Norwich rarely threatened in a cagey affair and Benitez was delighted with his side's performance as they built on their 8-0 success over Aston Villa with another three points.

"We knew it would be a difficult game, they have won against United and Arsenal and it was a tough game," said the Chelsea interim manager.

"I am really pleased with the performance of the players and really pleased as it is another victory after [returning from] Japan, so the team is showing character.

"We were working hard in defence, against Aston Villa we were attacking, it was a different type of game today and we showed character that the team can play football and at the same time can defend.

"They didn't have too many chances, we had two or three to score the second goal so I am pleased because it was a great performance."

Benitez refused to be drawn on reports that Frank Lampard, who started the game on the bench, would leave Stamford Bridge in January after being told he would not be getting a new contract.

"We don't talk about speculation, that is a conversation between Frank and the club," added Benitez. "We have to do our job which is to try and prepare the team for the next game

"To be fair I do not pay too much attention [to the rumours] because I have to concentrate on the games.

"Some things in the newspapers is something every club has to manage with."