Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Rafa reign ends with City defeat

Rafael Benitez has been linked with the Napoli job
Rafael Benitez has been linked with the Napoli job

Rafael Benitez quietly slipped out of Chelsea as the Europa League winners ended their season with a 5-3 friendly loss to Manchester City at Yankee Stadium.

The Londoners failed to satisfy their American fans as City, days after launching a Major League Soccer franchise in New York, showed a determination to make their mark in the Big Apple.

A well-taken double by Samir Nasri and further goals from Gareth Barry, James Milner and Edin Dzeko secured victory but Chelsea contributed to an entertaining encounter with a Ramires double and Juan Mata's free-kick.

The final whistle brought to an end Napoli-linked Benitez's tenure as interim boss and, having not spoken to media throughout the week-long post-season tour of the United States, the Spaniard made no public farewell.

The club were unwilling to comment on reports that Jose Mourinho, who is leaving Real Madrid this summer, has already agreed a deal to return to Stamford Bridge for a second spell.

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