Chelsea's Fernando Torres reacts following a missed chance
against Manchester City. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Interim manager Rafael Benitez was given a hostile
welcome by Chelsea fans angry at Roberto Di Matteo's sacking
when the Spaniard, serenaded with jeers, began his Stamford
Bridge reign with a 0-0 draw against Manchester City on Sunday.
Chelsea axed the popular Di Matteo on Wednesday - hours after
their Champions League defeat by Juventus which continued
their poor run of results, and appointed the former Liverpool
man for the rest of the season.
Benitez's arrival in the dugout shortly before kickoff was
greeted by boos with home fans continuing to chant Di
Matteo's name throughout the first half.
Chelsea, now without a Premier League win in five games,
improved after a sluggish opening period but created few
openings to test City keeper Joe Hart.
City, knocked off top spot by Manchester United's 3-1 win
over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, closed to within one
point in second while Chelsea are fourth, five points behind
Jermain Defoe's double, including a superb first-half strike,
and Gareth Bale's goal just before the hour jolted Tottenham
Hotspur out of the doldrums with a 3-1 London derby victory
over West Ham United at White Hart Lane.
Southampton moved out of the bottom three with a 2-0 home
victory over Newcastle United, ensuring an unhappy return to
the south coast club for former Saints manager Alan Pardew,
whose Newcastle side are struggling to match last season's
exploits which carried them to a fifth-place finish.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was also unable to get one
over former club Swansea City on his return to Wales as the
Anfield side continued their mediocre Premier League start
with a 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium.