FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT: IN CONTROL

Posted on: Sun 03 Mar 2013

Demba Ba's 27th-minute strike proved decisive as the Blues moved back into third in the Premier League table with a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge.

The Senegalese striker scored his fourth goal for the club, stabbing home from close-range after good work from Oscar and David Luiz.

It was a game in which we dominated for long spells, but our failure to put the game to bed allowed the visitors to apply the pressure late in the game.

Thankfully, however, we held on for three valuable points, and Rafael Benitez believes we are now in a good position in the race to finish in the top four…

On the performance
'I was really pleased with the performance of the team,' said the Blues boss. 'In some games we've played really well, but not always. Today, for 75 minutes we were in control with good play, good passes and great opportunities.

'Their goalkeeper [Ben Foster] was Man of the Match for me, that says a lot, we had a lot of attempts, played some really good football and the atmosphere was very good.

'I was really pleased with the fans behind the team, and the players played with more confidence, it was clear that it was positive.

'I was really pleased with Demba Ba scoring the goal and I would like to enjoy today.'

On Foster's display
'You cannot tie the goalkeeper's hands together, we had a lot of chances and he was really good, we couldn't beat him.

'We created lots of opportunities to score more goals and kill the game off but we didn't do it. Still, we were defending well and kept a clean sheet, so I'm pleased with the response of the players.'

On the race for a top-four finish
'There are still 10 games to play, it's still a long race but we are in a good position and we have confidence we can finish in the top three. We will see what happens tomorrow.

'The main thing is the team, and we needed the three points, that was the most important thing.'

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke, meanwhile, was disappointed in the goal his side conceded.

'We thought we prepared well enough to get a positive result but we went to sleep from a set-play,' said the former Chelsea player and coach.

'When you go to the top teams, and make no mistake, Chelsea are a fantastic team with top players, you have to stay in the game for as long as possible.

'I'm always pleased when I come back to Chelsea, and the fans remember me,' he added.

 A clip of Rafael Benitez talking to Chelsea TV can be viewed above.with the full interview available now via the channel's online access.