Football - Rafa realistic after final defeat

Rafael Benitez admitted Chelsea were out-fought and out-thought after watching Corinthians destroy their Club World Cup dream.

Eurosport

Interim Blues manager Benitez insisted his side only had themselves to blame as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat in the final in Yokohama, adding global humiliation to this season's European embarrassment.

Corinthians made a mockery of their underdogs tag as Chelsea became the first Champions League holders to fail to win the Club World Cup for six years, a week and a half after their elimination from the tournament that means the most to them.

The South Americans swarmed all over their opponents from start to finish and Benitez said: "This is the final of the World Cup for the South American teams. You could see this from the first minute.

"Our players have some quality but, physically, some of them aren't so strong."

Some of Corinthians' players also tried every trick in the book to get the referee on side, forward Emerson repeatedly rolling around the floor under contact.

Benitez added: "You could see they have experience and, every second, they were around the referee and doing well - and wasting [time] round near the end.

"I don't say that as a negative. They were `managing' the game quite well."

Emerson was also at the centre of Gary Cahill's late sending-off, which Benitez admitted might have been justified after his defender lashed out.

"He lost his temper," Benitez said. "I didn't see it in the game, but I've seen it on the replay and it could be a red card."

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