Di Matteo won't take the credit
Roberto Di Matteo did not want to accept any praise for his tactics after Chelsea defeated Benfica in the Champions League.
Last Updated: 27/03/12 11:25pm
Roberto Di Matteo did not want to accept any praise for his tactics after Chelsea defeated Benfica in the Champions League, but he was delighted after his 'little risk' in starting Salomon Kalou paid dividends.
The Ivory Coast international scored the only goal of the first leg of the quarter-final tie in Lisbon as the Blues took the advantage over the team of Jorge Jesus.
Di Matteo had made six changes to the line-up which drew 0-0 with Tottenham in the Premier League at the weekend and, after initially looking like a risk, it proved to be a masterstroke.
Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien were all on the substitutes' bench, with Fernando Torres starting in attack, and Chelsea produced a disciplined, determined and energised display of counter-attacking.
Interim manager Di Matteo, though was keen for his squad to take the praise, as he told Sky Sports 2HD: "They deserve all the credit.
"They have had a lot of stick this season. They have been fantastic with me. They are doing it for themselves, the club and the supporters."
Di Matteo, who was promoted from a role as Andre Villas-Boas' assistant until the end of the season after the Portuguese's sacking at the beginning of March, was pleased with Kalou's performance.
The Italian said: "He's come into the team after a long spell out, he got the goal and had a great game.
"I didn't think it was a gamble, but sometimes in life you have to take a little risk.
"With the fact we are playing all these games, it was important to select a team that had the energy for a high-tempo game. It's terrific, we couldn't have hoped for a better result.
"We went close on a number of occasions and kept a clean sheet, we looked good defensively, again.
"They had some set-pieces and the goalkeeper had a few saves to make, but they were all from long range."