Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez started his tenure with a 0-0 home tie against Manchester City in English soccer’s Premier League today. Tottenham defeated West Ham 3-1.
Chesea 0-0 Manchester City
Rafa Benitez was greeted with jeers from Chelsea fans, and the Blues were held to a 0-0 draw Sunday by Manchester City in his first game as manager.
A forgettable match lacking in clear-cut scoring chances was notable for the scenes that unfolded in the stands at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea fans welcomed Roberto Di Matteo’s successor with boos.
After leading Chelsea to its first Champions League title, Di Matteo was fired Wednesday and replaced by Benitez, who was hired as interim manager for the rest of the season. Benitez’s introduction before the match was greeted with persistent jeers, and the public address announcer had to plead with the fans to mute their dissent so tribute could be paid to former manager Dave Sexton, who died Saturday.
After a minute’s applause, the Chelsea fans turned on Benitez again with chants of, “We don’t want you here!” while “Rafa Out” banners appeared in the stadium.
“How many people do you need to write a banner? One,” Benitez said. “And maybe two to hold it.”
Fernando Torres returned to Chelsea’s starting lineup but the misfiring forward, prolific under Benitez at Liverpool, squandered his only meaningful chance in the second half.
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Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 West Ham United
Tottenham got back to winning ways with a 3-1 win over West Ham at White Hart Lane.
Defoe put Spurs ahead just before half time with a superb individual goal before Bale doubled the lead early in the second half.
Defoe got his second to make it 3-0 on 64 minutes and the goal quashed any chance of a West Ham revival, with Spurs only looking more likely to add to their lead.
Andy Carroll pulled one back nine minutes from time but Spurs stifled a late rally from the visitors to climb to seventh in the Premier League table, level on points with Arsenal.
Manchester United remains atop the standings on 30 points, City has 29, with West Bromwich Albion on 26. Chelsea has 25 points.
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