Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Strikers key to United success - Benitez

Robin van Persie, left, and Wayne Rooney, right, are just two of United's attacking threeats

Manchester United are running away with the Barclays Premier League title because of their wealth of talented strikers, according to Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez.

The Blues welcome United to Stamford Bridge on Easter Monday for their FA Cup quarter-final replay after the original tie ended in a 2-2 draw. Twenty-two points separate league-leaders United and Benitez's Chelsea and the Spaniard has pin-pointed the Red Devils' attacking options as a reason for their domestic dominance.

With Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez at his disposal, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already said he has a better strikeforce than his treble-winners of 1999. Benitez said: "The reason United are top of the table is they have a very strong squad."

He continued: "Just analyse the four strikers they have and we only have two. They have four all at a very good level and we only have two at that level.

"It was a problem when he had just [Fernando] Torres but now we have Demba [Ba] so that is two attacking options. We have offensive players of quality."

Chelsea came from two goals down to earn a replay at Stamford Bridge, with Eden Hazard and Ramires scoring in the second half to cancel out early efforts from Hernandez and Rooney.

Benitez feels his side played well enough to win the game at the first time of asking and is now counting the cost of another fixture that will see the Blues play five games in a two-week period.

"I'm not worried about what they [United] are doing," Benitez said after his side's 2-1 defeat at Southampton. "I am just concentrating on what we can do and how we can improve and win games.

"United are top of the table but I thought we were much better than them in the first game. We can compete but when you playing two games in three days, for months, it isn't easy so I think we are doing well in the situation we are in.

"Chelsea is a team in transition; it has a new manger and new players for this year. United have had the same manager for years and 80 per cent of the squad are the same."

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