Featured Matches
Previous
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
Sheriff Tiraspol
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Debrecen
BATE Borisov
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Wealdstone
Wycombe Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Frickley Athletic
Scunthorpe XI
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exeter City
Swansea City
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Rotherham United
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Derby County
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Mansfield Town
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Coventry City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Birmingham City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
AFC Bournemouth
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Stevenage
Reading
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Altrincham
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Milton Keynes Dons
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Concord Rangers
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dumbarton
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Hyde
Burnley XI
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Shrewsbury Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Luton Town
Colchester United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Margate
Barnet
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Burnley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield United
Huddersfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Southend United
Ipswich Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valerenga
Stabaek
2
1
LIVE 36'
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Nacional
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Náutico
Icasa
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Alianza Lima
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 14, 2013

Benitez: Chelsea must be more clinical

Rafael Benitez called for Chelsea to be more clinical and again defended Fernando Torres following the unconvincing 1-0 Europa League win at Sparta Prague.

• Highlights: Sparta Prague 0-1 Chelsea

"Eighteen attempts away is not bad, but we have to be more clinical in attack," Benitez said. "The first 20 minutes we were in control. We had some half chances; it was a cross, we weren't there. We were in control.

"After this 20 minutes they were pushing and pushing. The team, as a team, had problems defending.

"We changed a little bit in the second half. I think the concentration of the team was much better, the intensity in defence was much better and then we had more control."

Many of the missed opportunities fell to Torres, a £50million striker who now has one goal in 13 games.

Torres missed a straightforward effort after 35 minutes when teed up by Juan Mata and sliced a second-half shot out for a throw-in in another impotent display at the Generali Arena.

"We have to create more opportunities and the strikers will score more goals," Benitez said. "His work rate today was really good and thanks to him the rest of the team, especially the second line of offensive players, they could create.

"His job today was push-and-run and keep their defenders deep so he could create space for the other players.

"Everybody expects from a striker just to score goals, but he's doing also a great job for the team."

After ending Sparta's 11-match unbeaten home run in Europe, Benitez is now optimistic of progressing to a last 16 tie against Ajax or Steaua Bucharest.

"We have scored the away goal and we have to finish the job at home," he said. "We know it will not be easy." Chelsea were playing in the Europa League for the first time since 2002 and at times appeared reluctant to partake in the second-rank European competition.

Benitez said: "That is the competition that we have to play now. It's a European competition and they (the players) have to realise it's an opportunity to win a trophy.

"I'm sure if we can progress they will see the option and hopefully we can keep the team playing well and winning games, until the end (final)."

Sparta coach Vitezslav Lavicka felt Chelsea were ruthless in the end in his side's first competitive match since December 6.

"From the 60th minute we were under pressure," Lavicka said. "We lost balls when we were attacking. Then the opponent had the chances. Unfortunately we didn't have the energy and the opponent punished us with the goal they scored.

"It was a factor, but it's not an excuse for us. In the Czech Republic we have a winter break and that's what we have to deal with. We tried to prepare as best we could but the opponent was still very strong."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.