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Benitez Asks for Support Ahead of Europa Final

Rafael Benitez has once-again pleaded with Chelsea fans to show him a little respect. Since April 1, the Blues have played 10 games in all competitions, and Benitez has steered the team to seven wins, one draw and two losses -- although one of the losses was the FA Cup Semifinal against Manchester City. However, the Chelsea interim coach has picked up the Manager of the Month award for April in the process, as well as guiding the team to its first-ever Europa League final against Benfica on May 15, following Thursday night’s impressive come-from-behind 3-1 win against FC Basel at Stamford Bridge.

Following a game in which the crowd audibly chanted both Jose Mourinho and Roberto Di Matteo’s names, Benitez once again defended his record. "We're doing our jobs as professionals,” the Spaniard said. “Since that 'talk' at Middlesbrough [when he openly criticized Blues fans] I think we've won 11 of 13 games at home, which is quite good. We are doing our job. Hopefully a lot of the fans will appreciate that. It's not just about me,” he added. “It's about the players, the staff, the fans, the club, everyone. I was helping the team.”

Meanwhile, Blues fans are irate that Chelsea and Benfica, its opponent in the Europa League Final, have only received 9,800 tickets from UEFA for the final in the 53,000-capacity stadium in Amsterdam, compared to the 25,000 that both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have received for the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley. For the UCL final in Munich last year, Chelsea received 17,500 tickets. According to the Guardian, tickets for the Europa final are already going for more than $3,730 each online.

Read the whole story at Guardian »

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