Asked whether his squad was on par with Chelsea and Manchester United's, Benitez replied: "No. They are the two favourites. They finished 21 points ahead and they have spent more money. Chelsea have spent more money than anyone in the last five years.
"We needed to improve our squad so we have spent more money than before. We will try to be closer. We know we will be under pressure but they will be under pressure because they now have a better team than they had before.
"I will see the difference when we play them. Can we get closer? We will try not to make too many mistakes and see if that happens.
"We showed we could play today but you really need to see the team after two or three months. For me, one game winning or losing doesn't make much difference, although losing would mean more people talking."