Chelsea’s lowest crowd of the season — 38,484 — turned on the interim manager as they drew 2-2 with Southampton after leading 2-0 in their Premier League clash.
The fans were furious when hero Frank Lampard was subbed for Fernando Torres 11 minutes from time and they again vented their anger at the final whistle.
It was only the third time in Chelsea’s Premier League history they had failed to win after leading by two goals at half-time.
Benitez admitted: “I’m not angry but I am disappointed. When you know your players and what they can do, you are disappointed when you don’t win a game like this.
“Everything changed in the second half. We were not under pressure, but we made the same mistakes as we have in the past and that is my concern.
“I wanted to see the reaction from my team after Southampton scored their first goal and we didn’t do well.
“We had chances to score, we weren’t clinical enough and they broke on the counter-attack.
“I told the team at half-time that we needed a third goal. We cannot be happy to be drawing at home. The next game against Arsenal has to be totally different.”
In the cold: Rafa Benitez, pictured in training today, has the worst stats after 16 games in charge of all nine Chelsea bosses under Roman Abramovich
Snow joke: Gary Cahill was involved in a snowball fight as the Chelsea players trained at Cobham
In on it: Ashley Cole also picked up some snow during a break in training
Back to work: Fernando Torres (centre) is wrapped up as the players get on with their drills
Rafa Benitez has endured the worst start to his tenure at Chelsea of all nine Roman Abramovich-era managers - and that's official.
Many of Chelsea's dissenting fans may feel vindicated to know that the much-derided Spaniard has the worst record of the group with a paltry 56 per cent win rate at the club.
Although Andre Villas-Boas had the same win percentage, Benitez has seen his side lose four of his first 16 matches under his control, whereas the now-Tottenham manager only lost three.
The man they call the 'Special One' won an impressive 13 of his first 16 games (81 per cent). So too did the double-winning Italian Carlo Ancelotti but he lost one more game than Mourinho in the early stages of his career in west London.
Interestingly, Benitez's Chelsea have scored the most goals in his short spell in charge than any of the others, with an 8-0 home win over Aston Villa helping them on their way to an unsurpassed 40.
The special ones: Jose Mourinho (left) and Carlo Ancelotti each had a win rate of 81 per cent in their first 16 games at the helm
Request: Chelsea fans have been opposed to Benitez since he replace Roberto Di Matteo
Villas-Boas's outfit conceded the most goals (18) in his first 16 games. Mourinho's Chelsea, by contrast, were incredibly stingy, conceding just four goals.
Benitez has been the subject of chants and derogatory banners from the Chelsea faithful, who have not hidden their disdain at his appointment after he replaced the Champions League-winning Roberto Di Matteo earlier this season.
He and misfiring striker Fernando Torres have been targeted in recent weeks at Stamford Bridge after a string of disappointing results.
Any remaining title hopes for Chelsea were left in tatters on Wednesday evening when they wasted a two-goal lead to allow Southampton back into the game to draw 2-2, leaving them 13 points behind leaders Manchester United.
Benitez did little to endear himself any further to the home support when he replaced crowd favourite Frank Lampard with Torres in the second half.
Different beginnings, same end: Andre Villas-Boas (right) made a poor start to his reign but Luiz Felipe Scolari (left) won 11 of his first 16 games - but both were sacked in their first season at Chelsea
Short spell: Guus Hiddink (right) had a relatively successful stint as Chelsea manager
Hero: Di Matteo was sacked despite delivering the Champions League to Roman Ambramovich
Shrugged off: Avram Grant lost only one of his first 16 games in charge after succeeding Mourinho
Chelsea fans were also distraught to see the club's chances of winning the Capital One Cup decrease drastically as Swansea won 2-0 at the Bridge in the first leg on January 10.
Worse still for Benitez, one of his four losses in charge came against west London rivals and Premier League basement boys Queens Park Rangers.
Benitez has found it extremely difficult to get results at Stamford Bridge and has only managed two victories from seven home games.
The interim manager is likely to be moved on by Abramovich in summer, but with top target Pep Guardiola snubbing the Russian billionaire's riches to move to Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich, it is unclear who will take charge if and when the former Liverpool boss departs.
Waving goodbye: Claudio Ranieri was in charge when Abramovich took charge of the club
Satisfied? Abramovich has had nine managers since taking control of Chelsea in 2003
Chelsea have managed just two victories - albeit high-scoring ones - from their seven home matches in all competitions under Rafa Benitez, who has been jeered by Chelsea fans at every game.
It is now three matches since Chelsea last tasted victory at home and the natives are getting restless.
Ahead of Arsenal's visit to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Sportsmail takes a look at Chelsea's home-sickness under Benitez.
November 25: Chelsea 0 Manchester City 0 (Barclays Premier League)
Chelsea kept their first clean sheet in 11 matches but Benitez (right) was jeered and booed by the home fans, angry that Roberto Di Matteo had been sacked.
November 28: Chelsea 0 Fulham 0 (Barclays Premier League)
Another uninspiring goalless draw from Chelsea, who toiled against a well-organised Fulham side. Benitez and Fernando Torres bore the brunt of the fans' frustrations.
January 2: Chelsea 0 QPR 1 (Barclays Premier League)
Chelsea's west London rivals QPR won at Stamford Bridge for the first time in two decades with a goal from former Chelsea midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips.
January 9: Chelsea 0 Swansea 2 (Capital One Cup, semi-final first leg)
Chelsea were punished for another poor performance and Benitez was showered with more abuse from the stands, mainly for not bringing on new striker Demba Ba, as Swansea took charge of the tie.
January 16: Chelsea 2 Southampton 2 (Barclays Premier League)
Chelsea were cruising at 2-0 with goals from Ba and Eden Hazard but they allowed relegation-battling Southampton to hit back and claim the draw.
Chelsea trying to be the next Liverpool?
Anger management: Rafa Benitez hit out at Sir Alex Ferguson, below, and Marco Materazzi
Rafa Benitez was ranting at the double last night, renewing his feud with Sir Alex Ferguson and accusing his former Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi of being ‘a liar’ 10 times during an amazing outburst.
Chelsea’s interim manager insisted it is ‘obvious’ his old Manchester United foe Ferguson is still putting undue pressure on match officials.
Benitez, who attracted notoriety for launching an infamous tirade of ‘facts’ about Ferguson’s approach to referees at Liverpool four years ago, claims that Ferguson has continued to throw his weight around.
He said: ‘Maybe now a lot of people are seeing the same things. I will not talk too much about that because it’s obvious. It’s a question for the FA what they do about it.
'What I said at that time was what I thought and what I’m seeing now is similar. It depends on the FA. I don’t know what they will do.
He was referring to the potential charge Ferguson faces for claiming linesman Simon Beck had a ‘shocking game’ at Spurs on Sunday.
Benitez’s willingness to reopen the debate about Ferguson’s influence may increase the enmity between long-standing rivals, but Ferguson is unlikely to be too concerned as his side have an 11-point lead over Chelsea.
Rafa Benitez’s feud with Marco Materazzi yesterday took an extraordinary twist when the Chelsea coach accused the former Inter Milan defender of being ‘a liar’ 10 times during an amazing outburst.
Benitez, who must overturn a 2-0 deficit against Swansea in tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg, is furious over claims made by the World Cup winner.
Materazzi, who played under Benitez at the San Siro in 2010, claimed Chelsea’s interim manager ‘could not be trusted’ and ‘is weak’.
The Italian, who gained notoriety when he was headbutted by Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final, also claims Benitez took down pictures of predecessor Jose Mourinho at the training ground.
Benitez said: ‘In Italy everyone knows Materazzi and everyone at Inter knows him — he’s a liar. He’s lying. He’s lying. He’s lying, just lying. Everything he has said is a lie.
‘What he said about Mourinho is not true. Nobody knew Mourinho was leaving (in 2010) and no-one knew the Inter position would become available.
‘I don’t know about the locker room, so it’s a lie. If you talk about lies, then he is a liar.
‘I’ve spoken to his family and they told me I had to understand him so I want to respect him and be nice — but everyone knows him. He cannot discredit anyone because everyone knows him. Forget about him — it’s a lie. Simple.’
After a fleetingly promising start in Italy, Benitez's Inter began to struggle and following the manager's demands for money to spend he was sacked in December 2010, only six months into a two-year contract.
Chelsea fans have consistently been hostile to the Spaniard since he replaced Roberto Di Matteo and became the club's interim manager, and Materazzi, himself no stranger to controversy, says he understands why.
'Rafael Benitez is not my ideal coach,' the World Cup-winning defender said. 'If I was president of a club, I would not trust him with my team. What I did not like about him is how he introduced himself to the group.
’A great coach, like Jose Mourinho or (Marcelo) Lippi discusses rules with within the group, but Benitez wanted to write 10 or 12 rules. It was like the traffic or being back at school.’
Materazzi. who played briefly for Everton, is best known for his part in Zinedine Zidane's red card in the World Cup final of 2006, the legendary Frenchman's final act as a professional footballer.
Benitez held productive talks with Roman Abramovich on Sunday after the Chelsea owner returned to London from his holiday in St Barts.
The manager said: ‘Without giving away too many details, the owner was really pleased with the result against Arsenal (a 2-1 win on Sunday).
‘He has ideas and I do too. We share ideas and it’s fine. We explain to each other what we’re trying to do.’
Addressing Chelsea’s form, Benitez added: ‘Could we do a bit better? Yes. Could we have won games we lost? Yes. But the team is progressing and if you talk with the players they say we’re going in the right direction.’
Rafa's rules: Materazzi did not like the Spaniard's management style at Inter Milan
I really cant think of who will Roman hire after sacking Rafa...
Newcastle United 3 Chelsea 2: Newcastle are sparked into life by their new French connection
French fancy: Moussa Sissoko scored twice on his debut
You can, at least, not fault the defiance of Rafa Benitez. He again proved immovable, unlike his side. "We could have won every single game we draw or we lost, every single game," he insisted after yesterday's defeat. "In all the games we had chances and played good football in the majority of them. When we couldn't we still had chances to win."
Fact: Chelsea have picked up 22 points from a possible 39 during his reign, two points less than Roberto di Matteo picked up from one less game this season.
"We are trying to finish in the top four, or top three, and we can," added Benitez. "We are still looking up towards Manchester City. With some players coming back I think we have more options. When we are in form and doing well we can beat anyone."
Fact: Chelsea have won three games out of their previous 10 in all competitions.
"I was really pleased with the reaction of the players," said the interim manager of Chelsea. "That is the main thing for me. The players showed character in the second half. It means something is right. If we cannot control these games, it is something we will have to improve."
Fact: they were gun-ho, leaving gaping holes all over their defence and allowing Newcastle to fight back from a lost position.
With Rafa there is always a "but".
Frank Lampard's goal tally reached double figures for the 10th season running, a quite phenomenal achievement, with a breathtaking strike in the 54th minute
"I'm here to talk about the game," said Benitez when asked about the fact Lampard is set to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer.
There was, and indeed still is, some sympathy for Benitez. His looked a losing hand when he succeeded Di Matteo.
Yesterday, a crucial decision went against him. Demba Ba had seen a shot saved by Tim Krul when the ball came back to him in the Newcastle penalty area. He headed the rebound narrowly wide. As he lowered his head, Fabricio Coloccini's desperate attempt at a saving tackle saw him smash his former team-mate in the face.
"We couldn't change the situation of Demba Ba," he added. "It was a penalty and a red card for me. In the middle of the park [it would be] carry on, go back, free-kick. In the penalty area [it would be] carry on, go back, penalty and red card. It would have changed the game. We lost one player with a broken nose.
"It is something we have to consider. In other circumstances everybody would be talking about this. I want to remind you that that happened. Sometimes we don't remember these things. After watching the replay it is very clear. A player with a nose broken and bleeding for five minutes I think is good evidence. Demba has a broken nose and we will have to wait and see."
Ba received lengthy treatment. Eventually, with his face taped up, he returned to the game. It was short- lived. By the time he was forced to leave the field, to cruel jeers from the majority of Newcastle supporters, his new club were behind. Davide Santon had crossed from the left and Jonas Gutierrez stole in ahead of a flat-footed John Terry to glance a header past Petr Cech.
Lampard had missed a fine opportunity after just quarter-of-an-hour but on 55 minutes made amends in style, crashing a 25-yard shot past Krul. At that point Benitez was correct. Chelsea took control. A second, delightful goal would come their way just past the hour, Fernando Torres, who entered as Ba went off, laid the ball to Juan Mata and the finish was precise, curling into the top corner of the Newcastle goal.
At this point Benitez needed his new team for once to speak up for his endless work on the training ground. They did not.
Moussa Sissoko, the January signing from Toulouse, had become an increasing presence in the game. In the 68th minute, when fellow home debutant Yoan Gouffran broke free of an absent Chelsea defence and saw his shot parried by Cech, Sissoko was there to equalise.
That was the end for the visitors. Newcastle had new energy. In the 90th minute Sissoko passed to Santon, took the return and drilled a fierce, low drive into Cech's goal.
"It is undoubtedly the game of the season," said Alan Pardew. "It was fabulous. I do not think we will better that. When you play the top sides, it is important to knock them out of their stride.
"We got the goal and in the second half Chelsea came out and showed why they had such fabulous players. We struggled for 15 minutes. They were two unbelievable goals. It can knock the stuffing out of sides but we didn't let that happen. We had intelligence. We got a breakaway and then we were back in the game. It was a fantastic winning goal. It nearly took the roof off. The whole team was magnificent. Sissoko? I don't really need to say too much. His performance spoke for itself."
Something Benitez's Chelsea still cannot do.
Chelsea's results in their last 3 matches.
I was expecting to see him sacked this morning.....
Sack 2 managers within a season? That would be a record even in Roman's standard i think... But Rafa really seems lost. And if not for the Arsenal, Everton and Spurs keep losing points themselves, Chelsea wouldn't be in 3rd by now... Lucky rafa.
why did RA appoint him is really beyond anyone's comprehension.
i hope chelsea finished outside top 4 and not qualify for next season's CL.
i cant help laughing when i think of torres which cost chelsea 50 million from liverpool. he cant score. liverpool in turn bought sturridge from chelsea at 15 million. he has scored 4 goals in 6 matches.
liverpool really made chelsea look damn silly.
I hope rafa stays... as we still need a comedian in the epl.
But more importantly, he being here at chelsea makes them a lesser threat to the title challenge. So United only have City to deal with...
Rafa looked so good during his liverpool days, and i still think he should be the man instead of Rodger.
Maybe he is liverpool's agent trying to screw chelsea.
agreed that rafa was an awesome manager during his liverpool days..not effective anymore!!
he inherited the team which won the big one from Houllier
then he took them on the downward spiral to hell..
Chelsea would do well to throw him out asap.. he's one of those "managers" who everyone should avoid like the plague.. sort of like Souness