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Rafael Benitez: Chelsea Will Learn From Past Man City Mistakes


Rafael Benitez believes Chelsea will learn from past mistakes as they bid to book their FA Cup final place.

The Blues face Manchester City in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, with the interim manager adamant he is pleased with the season so far.

City beat Chelsea 2-0 in February at the Etihad Stadium, but Benitez says his team learned from the experience.

"We know what we did wrong against them in the league and we'll make sure we don't make the same mistakes," he said.

"They're a good team in a good position in the table, and did well against Manchester United the other day. We know it will be difficult but it's a semi-final in a massive competition.

"They're a good team, a strong squad. They have a manager with experience and they have confidence at the moment. We know we'll have to do our best if we want to progress."

If Chelsea can beat the City on Sunday, a cup double remains in their sights, having edged past Rubin Kazan to progress into the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday.

Benitez's men were drawn against Tottenham's conquerors, Basel, in the final four on Friday, with the Stamford Bridge side currently third in the Premier League.

"In terms of two semi-finals and still in the top three we're really pleased," added the Spaniard.

"It's a young squad with new players coming into the Premier League. We still need more experience, but that's getting better.

"It's still too early. We will see what happens at the end of the season, but top three, another semi-final. Not bad."

Benitez believes City, who have not conceded a goal in this season's FA Cup, could benefit from having not been in action this week but has praised the way his own squad have coped with their schedule of facing a sixth game in 16 days.

"It's always an advantage (to have rested while Chelsea travelled). I don't know how much," he said.

"We've tried to manage our squad and we have players with some fresh legs. Hopefully we will be fine. We have too many games and we have to use the squad. Everyone has to be on their toes.

"They are doing really well. I was praising them yesterday and today."