Chelsea came into the Club World Cup as the favourites to lift the title. It could be partly because European clubs have been successful in this competition over the last five years. However, this competition has thrown a number of surprises in the past, and Chelsea needed to stay awake in order to progress to the final. Benitez promised a strong starting line-up against the Mexican club Monterrey.
He did as promised and he was rewarded with an excellent performance from the European champions that justified the favourites tag. At times, Chelsea were almost unstoppable with fantastic movement and passing. This game was not just about the three midfielders behind Torres alone. It was a great performance from back to front.
However, it is not possible to play at such an incredible tempo throughout the match. It showed on many occasions as the Chelsea players lost possession due to intense pressing from the Monterrey players.
The first goal came from a ‘Barcelona-like’ move that was completed by Juan Mata. The Spaniard has been hugely impressive since his break earlier in the season. He is amongst the top scorers this season. The 1-0, though, was a dangerous score as the second half began.
However, Chelsea put one foot in the final within five minutes of the second half with two quick fire goals. Fernando Torres, who has been back amongst goals, scored after just 40 seconds into the second half. The striker now has an impressive 5 goals in the last 3 matches, while this is also the first time he has scored in three consecutive matches for Chelsea.
He then turned creator by laying a wonderful ball for Mata, whose attempted pullback was put into his own net by the Monterrey player Chavez.
Chelsea did not relax despite taking a three goal advantage, but the rest of the match saw both teams commit mistakes and concede possession too easily. De Nigris injury time goal robbed Cech’s clean sheet, but the progress to the final was far more important.
Chelsea will now play Brazilian Corinthians in the final of the Club World Cup on Sunday.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Azpilcueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole, Mikel, David Luiz (Lampard 63), Mata (Ferreira 74), Oscar, Hazard, Torres (Moses 79)
Scorers: Mata 17, Torres 46, Chavez o.g 47
Monterrey (4-3-3): Orozco, Perez (Osorio 57), Mier, Basanta, Chavez, Ayovi, Meza (Solis 82), Cardozo, Corona, De Nigris, Delgado (Carreno 82)
Scorer: De Nigirs 90+1
Next Match: Corinthians vs Chelsea
Kick-off: 10:30 BST