Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez buoyed after win at Man Utd

Rafael BenitexChelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez believes his side have closed in on Champions League qualification with their 1-0 win over Manchester United.

The victory puts Chelsea third in the Premier League and the Blues can all but secure a top-four place if they beat Tottenham at home on Wednesday.

“It [Tottenham] is another crucial game for us. If we can win we will be in the top four,” said Benitez.

“The three points against Manchester United [are] massive for us.”

Chelsea’s win at champions United in their 65th game of the season came courtesy of a late Juan Mata strike being deflected in off defender Phil Jones.

It moved the Blues one point ahead of third-placed Arsenal, who have played a game more, and three points better off than fifth-placed Spurs.

A win over Tottenham would leave Andre Villas-Boas’s men six points behind Chelsea, who have a superior goal difference, with two games to play.

“It wasn’t an easy game [against United],” said Benitez. “The tempo was not too high.

“You can understand when they have already won the title it is easier for them to relax a little bit.

“But 65 games is not easy to keep playing at a high tempo all the time. I think we did well and won, which was the most important thing for us.”

He added: “He [Mata] is a great player. He has the game intelligence, ability and quality to make a difference and he did that.”