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The much-maligned interim boss believes that the Blues' campaign can get even better after securing a trip to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City

Chelsea are enjoying a "great" season which could get even better, claims manager Rafa Benitez.

The 52-year-old is in a fine mood after his side overcame Manchester United in their FA Cup quarter-final replay on Monday to set up a Wembley clash with Manchester City, while they remain in the hunt for Champions League qualification and face Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.

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"It's a great season. It could be even better. It's important for everyone here. We worked so hard at Old Trafford [in the first game] and we deserved to win in the end," Benitez told reporters after the win.

"Against a very good United team, we had one or two chances to settle the game. They had one or two to score but we deserved it."

The Spaniard was criticised for making a number of changes to the side which fell to a 2-1 loss at Southampton on Saturday but insists that he did what he had to do to negotiate a schedule of six games in 16 days and warns against overreaction over a single result.

"Before the international break, we played against United, Steaua Bucharest and West Ham. We were the best in the world after those games," Benitez added, "then we lost against Southampton on Saturday and we're the worst in the world. You have to have balance.

"The priority for us is to finish in the top four, we know that, but at a top side you have to win each competition."

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