Fernando Torres and Victor Moses both struck as Chelsea set up a mouth-watering FA Cup quarter final meeting with Manchester United after defeating Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
After Scott McDonald and Mustapha Carayol came close in the first half for The Championship side, The Blues went ahead six minutes after the break as Ramires' shot deflected off Torres' shoulder and beyond goalkeeper Luke Steele.
The Blues then secured their place in the last eight for the seventh times in eight years as Eden Hazard exchanged passes with Oscar before setting up Victor Moses for the Nigerian's first goal since early January.
The win sees them travel to 10-time winners United in the quarter final, a repeat of the 2007 final; the first to be played at the newly redeveloped Wembley Stadium.
After defeat to league champions Manchester City on Sunday, which saw Chelsea drop down to fourth, the victory is a notable return to form and sustains the club's hopes to claiming a piece of silverware this season, while Tony Mowbray's side, who have claimed one league win since the start of their FA Cup run, can now turn their attention fully to reclaiming a play-off place.
Opposing manager Benitez made eight changes from the defeat at the Etihad Stadium for the trip to Boro, amid fears over tiredness in the Chelsea ranks, but the Spaniard insists his faith in his squad has never wavered.
"I had a lot of confidence in the players because I can see them training every day and they were doing really well, so I was really pleased," he said. "I could see in the training sessions and was really pleased, so to play them, no problem."
Following recent disappointing results, Benitez had reportedly fallen out with members of the Chelsea first-team; however the ex-Liverpool boss believes the attitude of supporters towards him has contributed to the club's problems.
"What they have to do is to support the team, to support the players," he said. "And it's a group of people and they have an agenda.
"They have to realise that the rest of the fans, they want to see the team the next year in the Champions League.
"It's not 'I am right or I am wrong', you have to see the team in the Champions League and they have to support the team, that is the main thing."
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Jaden Smith Clarifies Emancipation Reports with Dad Will Smith on TV Show ‘Ellen’ [PHOTOS AND VIDEO]
- IN PHOTOS! A Picture of Sadness in Kristen Stewart as Robert Pattinson Celebrates 27th Birthday ALONE? [SLIDESHOW]
- 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Casting: Chace Crawford as Christian Grey & Rachel McAdams as Anastasia Steele [PHOTOS]
- Robsten Romance: New Thorns on the Rosy Love Between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart [SLIDESHOW]