Wednesday Evening Ticker: Benitez blasts Chelsea fans, Bayern defeats Dortmund, and more

BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

Since joining Chelsea on an interim basis in November, Rafael Benitez has been under fire from a portion of Blues fans. On Wednesday, the former Liverpool and Inter Milan manager told reporters that he has had enough.

Benitez announced that he will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, saying that the Chelsea board made “a massive mistake” in giving him the title of interim manager.

“I am a professional and I will do my job,” Benitez said. “At the end of the season, I will leave.”

The manager then responded to his most vocal critics, a group of Chelsea fans. Blues supporters that made the trek to Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium on Wednesday chanted against him—even though Chelsea won the FA Cup tie 2-0.

“I really feel disappointed with a group of fans, because they don’t do any favors to the team,” Benitez said. “They should support the team instead of wasting time doing banners or singing songs (against him).

“If not, the next year, they can carry on singing – but they will be in the Europa League, so they have to appreciate that they are not doing any favors to the rest of the fans and the players.”

Benitez’s squad defeated Championship side Middlesbrough on second half goals from Ramires and Victor Moses on Wednesday, setting up a FA Cup quarterfinal meeting with Manchester United.

Here are some more stories to wrap up a busy soccer Wednesday:

BAYERN DEFEATS DORTMUND 1-0 IN DFB-POKAL QUARTERFINAL

Bayern Munich successfully got its domestic cup revenge over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, knocking the defending champions out with a 1-0 quarterfinal victory.

Arjen Robben’s impressive distance goal was all that the runaway league leaders needed to dispatch their biggest rivals on Wednesday. The Dutch winger, who started in place of the suspended Franck Ribery, hit a 20-yard shot into the top corner of the net just before the halftime whistle.

The hosts put nine shots on target during the match, but Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller stayed strong and kept his side in the game. However, the Dortmund offense never seemed to get anything going against Bayern’s tough defense. Ilkay Gundogan’s long range effort, which Manuel Neuer saved with ease, would be the only shot on target for the visitors.

Bayern had not beaten Dortmund in its last six meetings, including a 5-2 loss in last season’s DFB-Pokal final. The club, which has not won its domestic cup since the 2009-10 season, will face either Freiburg, Wolfsburg or Stuttgart in the semifinal round.

ATLETICO SECURES 2-2 DRAW, WILL FACE REAL IN COPA DEL REY FINAL

Atletico Madrid played out a 2-2 draw in the second leg of its Copa del Rey semifinal with Sevilla on Wednesday, setting up an all-Madrid cup final.

Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao both scored in the opening half-hour for the visitors, pushing Atletico’s aggregate lead out to 4-1. Sevilla tried to start a comeback after Jesus Navas’s 39th minute goal, but defender Gary Medel’s red card in the second half killed the home side’s momentum.

Ivan Rakitic was able to push across a match equalizer in stoppage time, but the comeback dreams were killed off when Geoffrey Kondogbia saw red in the dying seconds of the match.

Atletico will face city rival Real for the Copa del Rey on May 18. The two Madrid clubs last faced each other for the trophy in 1992, with Atletico winning 2-0.

IBRAHIMOVIC SCORES TWICE, PSG WINS IN BECKHAM’S FIRST START

Paris Saint-Germain repeated its 2-0 performance from Sunday’s Ligue 1 win on Wednesday, beating rival Marseille in the Coupe de France’s Round of 16.

Most of the attention before the match was on David Beckham, who made his first start for the capital club in Wednesday’s win. The English midfielder made his debut with the club in Sunday’s win, playing a part in his side’s second goal.

But all eyes were on forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic by the end of Wednesday’s cup contest. The Swedish forward scored both of PSG’s goals, including a 64th minute penalty that sealed the win. Ibrahimovic now has 26 goals in all club competitions this season.

Beckham was substituted off for Christophe Jallet in the 85th minute.

QUICK KICKS

UEFA denied a protest from Schalke 04 and declared Didier Drogba eligible to play in the Champions League for new club Galatasaray. (REPORT)

Juventus manager Antonio Conte will be questioned once more about his involvement in the Italian match-fixing scandal next month. (REPORT)

Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola reportedly spied on some of his players’ personal lives during his tenure at the club. (REPORT)

Arsenal will honor former player Dennis Bergkamp with a statue outside of Emirates Stadium. (REPORT)

PSV forward Jeremain Lens has received a three-match ban for his post-game shoving match with Feyenoord defender Joris Mathijsen. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? What is your reaction to Benitez’s announcement? Think he will last at Chelsea until the end of the season? Excited for the all-Madrid final?

Share your comments below.

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22 Responses to Wednesday Evening Ticker: Benitez blasts Chelsea fans, Bayern defeats Dortmund, and more

  1. A says:

    Benitez is spot on. Those fans were booing him before the first whistle at his first match as Chelsea’s coach. Then again, nobody has ever accused a good portion of Chelsea fans of representing anything more than a flippant childish attitude. Is there a coach they haven’t booed mercilessly?

    • dan says:

      At least Rafa can go out as the only manager that wasn’t axed ;)

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yes.

      there’s always something delightful about a club imploding, but i haven’t noticed chelsea fans being any worse or better than any other top club. they have their gloryhunters, their longtime fans, and their general d-bags–same as everyone else.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yes.

      there’s always something delightful about a club imploding, but i haven’t noticed chelsea fans being any worse or better than any other top club. they have their good, bad, and ugly just like everyone else.

      edited due to original comment in moderation

  2. Ryan says:

    I don’t think anything Benitez said was all that revelatory or shocking. Good for him for standing up for himself, though.

  3. chuck says:

    Rafa deserves everthing he gets from the Chelsea fans. he never should have taken the job, but it also never should have been offered to him.

    as for A, above, you don’t really have a clue about Chelsea fans. stop listening to the BS spouted by other fans. 1,900 traveling fans on a Wed night isn’t flippant, it’s dedicated.

    • Jamie Z. says:

      Yeah, dedicated to being a bunch of tossers!

    • A says:

      My family has a flat in Belgravia–I know first hand all I need to know about Chelsea fans.

    • dan says:

      Chuck you are a moron, probably another bandwagon moron that only knows about soccer post 2006

    • Quen047 says:

      Well, chuck sums it up well. If there is a more unlikeable fanbase in England than that of Chelsea, I don’t know who it is. How dare Benitez repeatedly defeat Chelsea in the Champions League when he was at Liverpool! Looking forward to Chelsea’s next manager. I’m sure he’ll get at least half a season to make his mark.

  4. Old School says:

    Chelsea made two mistakes associated with Benitez:

    1) Hiring him
    2) Hiring him and believing he could get anything out of Fernando Torres

    Chelsea’s objective this summer should be to hire a new manager and ship off Torres for a bucket of balls or training equipment.

  5. dan says:

    Good for Rafa, he is right and deserved more backing. Chelski is a joke and will always be one as long as they keep rotating managers through there.

    Too bad Rafa doesn’t just pick youth academy players from now on and dive bomb Chelsea out of the champions league where they don’t belong

  6. Leo says:

    You’ll never walk alone…unless your name is Rafa.

    Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

  7. Bob says:

    So does anyone know why exactly Bayern is hiring Guardiola? They seem to be doing pretty well without him. How could he actually make them better?

    • David says:

      Might not necessarily be about making them better, but just that Jupp is leaving at the end of the season and Pep is available. Don’t need any more reasons than that.

    • BCC says:

      Yes, once his surveillance system is in place they will be a much stronger team. Every team needs a Big Brother.

  8. MLSfan says:

    Chelsea is the Toronto FC of England…. a coach and player carousel.