Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Top-four finish will be a battle, admits Chelsea boss Benitez
Benitez: Tottenham clash will be a 'final for both teams'

View photo

Benitez: Tottenham clash will be a 'final for both teams'
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has acknowledged that his side is going to have to battle until the end if they are to finish in the top four this season and qualify for the next season's UEFA Champions League.

Benitez had hoped to push Manchester City for second place, but the Blues now find themselves looking over their shoulders after they were beaten 2-0 by Roberto Mancini's team on Sunday. Tottenham could leapfrog Chelsea into third by beating West Ham on Monday night and Arsenal trail Benitez's team by only two points.

"I said before the game, [if we win] it will still be a battle to the end," the Blues boss told Sky Sports. "Not winning is exactly the same situation. We have to carry on until the end."

Goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez sealed Chelsea's defeat after Joe Hart saved a Frank Lampard penalty, denying the midfielder his 200th goal for the Stamford Bridge club.

Benitez admitted that the 50th-minute spot kick was a turning point despite his team's unspectacular performance until that point.

"The penalty is a crucial moment; we did not do as well as we were expecting but the penalty could have changed everything," Benitez said. "It was a good penalty and a good save. Ten minutes later, they score. Then we have to take a risk and it is clear they are a good team."

Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NFL $350K Baller [$50K to 1st] 12545/39773 $10 $350000 Sunday 1:00 PM Enter
NFL $40K Tournament [Single Entry] 2333/9091 $5 $40000 Sunday 1:00 PM Enter
NBA $20K Tournament [$2K to 1st] 2167/4545 $5 $20000 Today 7:00 PM Enter
View Comments (2)