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Football | Barclays Premier League

Rafa rejects Chelsea 'bust-up' reports



Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has dismissed media reports of a row between himself and some of his senior players in the aftermath of Sunday's 2-0 Premier League loss at Manchester City.

British media reports claimed there had been a flare-up involving Benitez and a posse of players led by captain John Terry, but the Spaniard insisted there had been nothing untoward.

Benitez, whose side visit Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday, said: "This was a normal meeting between players and technical staff, which happens after every game. It was normal talk, nothing else. You show your disappointment, that is normal.

"I can understand the frustrations of Terry. He is an important player for us and has been injured with his knee.

"It was very brief exchange of ideas, and that is it, nothing else. It is just a team talk after a defeat.

"We had a meeting on the pitch with my players and technical staff, which is part of our business.

"Now we have to move on and start thinking about Middlesbrough."

Asked about his relationship with the Chelsea players, Benitez said: "It is fantastic. I have no problem."

Chelsea's loss at the Etihad Stadium left them seven points behind second-place City in the Premier League and they were bumped down to fourth place on Monday following Tottenham Hotspur's 3-2 win at West Ham United.

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