Roberto di Matteo: Chelsea taking nothing for granted

Di Matteo taking nothing for granted as Chelsea steal advantage in Benfica tie

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UPDATED:

23:24 GMT, 27 March 2012

Roberto Di Matteo insisted he would not sleep soundly tonight despite watching Chelsea put one foot in the Champions League semi-finals with victory at Benfica.

Di Matteo masterminded a second straight win in Europe, this one achieved despite the Italian resting six of his increasingly-tired players.

Winner: Kalou scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea stole a crucial advantage in their European clash

Winner: Kalou scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea stole a crucial advantage in their European clash

After the 1-0 success against what was a toothless Benfica side, the Chelsea caretaker manager claimed his side still had a mountain to climb.

He said: 'I think we've put ourselves in a good position, but it's not a result you can rely upon for the home game. It's one goal.

'You look at the results Benfica have achieved in this Champions League… you're not going to sleep very calmly looking at that.'

All smiles: Torres, who set up Kalou's goal, celebrates with the Ivorian

All smiles: Torres, who set up Kalou's goal, celebrates with the Ivorian

Only twice has a side come back from losing the first leg at home, although Chelsea became only the fourth team to triumph after suffering a defeat by two or more goals in the away leg when they beat Napoli three weeks ago.

Di Matteo added: 'We are pleased that we're in a different position going into the second leg.

'We had a mountain to climb against Napoli. We still have a mountain, but it may be a little bit smaller because we've achieved a good result here.'

Taking nothing for granted: Di Matteo insists the Champions League tie isn't over

Taking nothing for granted: Di Matteo insists the Champions League tie isn't over despite Chelsea's advantage

Di Matteo admitted he took a risk with his team selection, which saw him leave out Napoli heroes Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien and hand rare starts to Paulo Ferreira, John Obi Mikel and matchwinner Salomon Kalou. 'It's just a question of trying to energise the team, freshen up the team,' Di Matteo said.

'We knew Benfica play at a high tempo so we needed fresh players who could run. That was the reasoning behind it.'

Celebrate: The Chelsea players applaud the away support after their victory

Celebrate: The Chelsea players applaud the away support after their victory

Tonight's match was the third of seven in 20 days for Chelsea. Di Matteo said: 'I'm involving everybody that is in the squad, rotating. We'll need everybody until the end of the season. “Paulo Ferreira hasn't played for a while but was outstanding tonight for me.

'We cannot play with just 11 players. We need everybody in the squad.

'You'll see other players who have maybe played a little less in the past paying more of a role in the future. “It's just impossible for us to play every three days and reach the fitness levels needed to win games.'

Di Matteo reiterated Chelsea would attempt to get their FA Cup semi-final moved back 48 hours ahead of what looks set to be a Champions League semi against Barcelona or AC Milan. It is understood they are highly unlikely to succeed but Di Matteo said: 'We'll see what we can do, but we've not qualified yet as well.'