Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Premier League

Rafael Benitez defends his Chelsea substitutions after draw with Tottenham

The interim-manager was booed for bringing on Yossi Benayoun

Rafael Benitez has defended the decision to bring on Yossi Benayoun against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge, which was roundly booed and jeered by the home crowd.

The Chelsea interim manager introduced Benayoun, who is not particularly popular with the home crowd, for Oscar, who is, with six minutes left. Chelsea had just blown their lead for the second time following Gylfi Sigurdsson's late equaliser.

Benitez, though, insisted afterwards that there was a tactical explanation for his change and that it was his job to make these decisions.

“I just concentrate on my football, that's it,” Benitez said, denying that he was aware of the abuse. “I concentrate on football.”

“We were weak in the wide areas and were a bit tired, and I didn't see any other wingers on the bench. It was my idea.”

Benitez rounded on those who criticise his decisions from afar: “It is easy to see the bulls from the fence.”

Benitez was frustrated that Chelsea missed chances to go 3-1 up which would have nearly sealed their qualification for he Champions League next season.

“I think we had the chances on the counter-attack to score the third goal and finish the game,” he said. “We had control and then had three or four counters we had to finish. Then they were pushing. The second goal was offside, but still we have to defend a bit better. It was a good, open game. Good for the fans, but not for us.”