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No miracle needed for Chelsea, says Benitez

Published on Dec 5, 2012 6:25 AM
Chelsea's Spanish interim manager Rafael Benitez holds a press conference ahead of his team's Uefa Champions League group E football match against FC Nordsjaelland at Chelsea FC training ground in Cobham, south of London, on Dec 4, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez says his side will not need a "miracle" in order to avoid becoming the first Champions League holders to be eliminated in the group phase.

The defending champions host Danish competition debutants FC Nordsjaelland on Wednesday knowing that even victory in their final group game may not be enough to take them into the last 16.

Chelsea can only go through if they win and Juventus lose at Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group E game, but Shakhtar are already through and Juve require only a draw to join them. Benitez oversaw Liverpool's famous comeback from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties in the 2005 final in Istanbul, but he does not believe Chelsea's current situation requires a similarly dramatic rescue act.

"I don't think it's a miracle," said the Spaniard, who was appointed on a temporary basis following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo. "We have to do our job and wait for the other teams." Since replacing Di Matteo in the wake of the 3-0 loss to Juventus in Turin, Benitez has seen Chelsea draw twice and lose once in his first three games, extending their winless run in the Premier League to seven matches.

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