Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has heaped praise on Rafa Benitez after Chelsea's 8-0 thrashing of Aston Villa.

Lawro wrote in the Mirror: "Rafa Benitez is proving what a good manager he is - but Chelsea still need a Christmas miracle to bridge the gap on Manchester.

"Roman Abramovich is certain to go for it in January with Daniel Sturridge going to Liverpool and so they need back-up.

"That means they are likely to go for Falcao and a mega deal like that would really lift Chelsea and no-one should underestimate Benitez and the effect he can have.

"Benitez is a terrific tactician, he's won the Spanish title twice and led Liverpool to success. He has got Chelsea playing and playing well.

"I also like what he has done with David Luiz, switching him to midfield. Luiz is a good player, just a poor defender.

"There is a lot in this Chelsea squad and Benitez will be determined to make his mark and try to earn the chance to manage long term."