FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT: LOTS OF POSITIVES

Posted on: Thu 18 Apr 2013

The first of two successive away league games ended in memorable fashion for the Blues as three points, as well as local bragging rights, were secured with a 3-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

After a slow start, David Luiz broke the deadlock with a peach of a strike, while the man playing alongside him at the heart of the Chelsea defence, John Terry, doubled our advantage with a well-taken header three minutes before the break.

Terry helped a Fernando Torres header over the line to put the game to bed late on, leaving Rafael Benitez to reflect on a job well done as we moved into third in the Barclays Premier League table.

On the performance
'We had confidence, we knew it was a derby and we had to do well,' said the Blues boss. 'The way that we played, especially in the second half, I was really pleased with the team and we saw a lot of positives.

'We knew when we scored the second they would come at us and we would have space. The team was well organised and we were defending well. We had some chances on the counter-attack and maybe could have done a bit better in those situations, but you cannot complain when you score three goals away.'

On Fulham's display
'Martin Jol is doing a great job, they are well organised and playing good football, but sometimes when you play against players with quality it's not enough. They had one or two chances and they were dangerous on the edge of the box. We improved defensively in the second half and had more control.'

On David Luiz's wonderful goal
'
I've seen him scoring those kind of goals in training sessions, he has that ability and is a very good player. Hopefully he can do one or two more before the end of the season.'

On John Terry's brace
'
For the team it's good, for him its good, and I was really pleased.'

On squad rotation
'
It's important they have to be ready, we have eight or nine games to play and everybody has to be on their toes. They have to be ready to play and perform.

'We will see what happens in the Premier League, we will try to stay in the top three, but we also have the semi-final of the Europa League and we want to compete in both competitions.

'The most important thing is the team and to keep winning. The team has to keep winning and we will try to manage the squad.

'We've been playing three games a week for four or five months so it's not easy to keep the players focused and concentrated. The idea is to use different players and keep them fresh.

'Everybody wants to play every game, but they have to realise the most important thing is to have players physically 100 per cent for the next game, then we will have a better chance to win.'

On a potentially tough run-in and the race to qualify for next season's Champions League
'
They are difficult matches but we have quality. If you ask them [our opponents] they will say it's a difficult match because they are playing against Chelsea.

'We must have confidence and belief and hopefully we can stay up there. The race for the top four will be until the end of the season.

'If we continue winning and they [Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton] keep on winning, those games against Tottenham and Everton will be even more important.'

Fulham manager Martin Jol, meanwhile, paid tribute to our performance.

'They have a big squad, very good players. They've played more matches than any other team and still look very strong,' said the Dutchman.

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