Chelsea interim boss, Rafael Benitez has had a roller coaster three months since being appointed by billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich. Over the last week though, results have finally started to go his way.
The stirring 2-2 comeback at Old Trafford as his tactical moves changed the course of their FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United. The come from behind on aggregate win to knockout Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League and now the 2-0 victory over West Ham United to leap-frog Spurs and move into third place in the Barclay’s Premier League.
Perhaps now, the Chelsea faithful will give the Spaniard a reprieve from the ritual abuse he seemingly suffers every time he steps from the Chelsea dugout at Stamford Bridge.
One can only hope he brings home either the FA Cup or Europa League allowing him to rebuild his reputation. A reputation that has taken a pounding over the course of 32 matches.
It has already been established that he is not returning to West London next season, so the next question is where does he go.
His preferred country would be to remain in England but a man of his reputation and pride would find it tough to move down the Premiership and manage one of the lesser lights. This option could be his salvation though and allow him to get his career back on track without the constant speculation that seemingly surrounds him.
I like Rafa Benitez. He’s a great tactician and his resume up until Inter Milan and now Chelsea was flawless. English football would be foolish to lose him to the continent.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2012, and he is already the club’s all-time leading scorer.
After scoring both of PSG’s goals in a 2-1 win over Marseille today, Zlatan’s tally is up to 110 goals for the club, eclipsing Pauleta’s mark of 109. However, Pauleta needed 79 more matches to reach that number.
Zlatan has scored at a blistering pace since moving to Paris, having seasons of 35, 41, and 30 goals in his first three years at the club. Early into his fourth season with PSG, he has four goals through seven matches.
Not only has Zlatan achieved great success individually during his time at Parc des Princes, the club has dominated French football during his tenure.
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Since Zlatan moved to Paris in 2012, the club has won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, two League Cups, and one French Cup. During that time, Zlatan was twice named Ligue 1 Player of the Year and won two Golden Boots as the league’s top scorer.
Zlatan’s contract with PSG is up at the end of this season, and it has been long suspected that he will move on and join a new club next summer. Despite turning 34 earlier this month, Zlatan has proven his is still one of the world’s elite goalscorers, and will have his choice of clubs should he leave PSG.
Luciano Vietto scored with less than ten minutes to play to earn a draw for Atletico Madrid against their crosstown rivals Real.
Karim Benzema had given Real Madrid an early lead, heading home a cross from Dani Carvajal in the ninth minute. While Cristiano Ronaldo may get all the headlines, Benzema has been superb for Real, scoring six goals in seven La Liga matches this season.
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Atletico had a golden opportunity to draw level in the 22nd minute when the hosts were awarded a penalty, but Keylor Navas made a brilliant save to deny Antoine Griezmann, keeping Real ahead.
Still trailing 1-0, Diego Simeone made a substitution for Atletico in the 58th minute, bringing in Luciano Vietto for some added strength on the attack. It was the 21-year-old’s first taste of a Madrid derby, and he proved to be ready for the pressure.
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With the clock winding down, Jackson Martinez played a cross in from the left wing, and after a slight scramble in the box, the young Vietto cleaned up the scraps to level the score in the 83rd minute.
The result leaves Real Madrid second in La Liga, one point behind leaders Villarreal, while Atletico sits fifth, three points off the leaders.