Benitez: Mata and team can improve

27 December 2012 04:42:39 EST

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez heaped praise on Spanish star Juan Mata after his goal secured a 1-0 win at Norwich City to keep the Blues in the Premier League title hunt.

Mata's strike, his sixth in his last eight games, was enough to earn Chelsea the three points at Carrow Road, with Benitez's men 11 points adrift of Manchester United with a game in hand.

I think the Premier League has a lot of good players and Mata is one of the best.

Rafa Benitez

Benitez said of his compatriot: "He is playing really well. Even without the ball he is working hard, but when we are in possession he is making the difference.

"I always say the same; if the team are playing well these players can make the difference. I think the Premier League has a lot of good players and Mata is one of the best for sure - he can be even better."

Chelsea are now 250/1 to win the title this season, with United 1/500 and Manchester City 50/1, with Benitez happy with the way his team are progressing.

He added: "We can manage different kinds of games and still get results.

"There are not a lot of teams who can play football like we did the other day (8-0 win over Aston Villa) and also show that we can defend and work hard in difficult conditions (at Norwich).

"We are in a good position, but can still improve."

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