Rafael Benitez’s efforts of maintaining a steady ship through Chelsea’s congested fixture pile-up proved to be working on Thursday night, as the Blues continued to bounce back from defeat at the weekend and beat Rubin Kazan 3-1 in the Europa League.
The interim boss demanded a performance from his squad after they fell 2-1 to Southampton on Saturday, and Chelsea wasted little time carrying on from where they left off against Manchester United.
Fernando Torres’ 16th-minute opener got the ball rolling before Victor Moses’s sweet effort doubled the Blues’ lead. Although Kazan nicked a goal back, Torres stole the show with a solid header 20 minutes before time.
The result leaves Chelsea in good stead to reach the Europa League semi-finals and fans taking advantage of Bet365’s in-play bet offer should back them heavily to get the job done in Russia.
As for qualifying for next season’s Champions League, Benitez insists Torres’ form could help the squad achieve that goal and despite the team set to play five games in 14 days the Spaniard may have a point.
For Torres has now scored three in four appearances and although he hasn’t netted in the league since December is evidently revelling in European competition.
With Torres handling these Europa League responsibilities, Benitez can channel resources – such as Demba Ba – towards the domestic front and Chelsea fans could witness two different XIs developing over April to cope with the fixture strain.
Although finishing fourth, defending the FA Cup and winning the Europa League is not what Blues fans would have expected at the start of the season, it would nevertheless prove a bright finish to one of the darkest periods of the club’s recent history.
Chelsea are in need of a reboot and will get it this summer, but, before then, there is plenty of optimism for fans placing a bet on football to cling on to.