Benitez lashes out at critics of Chelsea striker Torres

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has come to the defence of his under fire striker Fernando Torres, ESPN has reported.

Torres failed to find the back of the net in Chelsea 2-1 win over Arsenal on the weekend, his seventh consecutive game without scoring, and has come under increased pressure for a starting position in the Blues line-up after the arrival of Demba Ba from Newcastle.

Ba has scored three goals in his five appearances for the London club, as well as notching 13 strikes for Newcastle, and many people expected him to start the Arsenal game. However, Torres, whose profligacy in front of goal has been well documented since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, was given a chance to impress, but once again failed to live up to his £50m price tag.

However, Benitez has launched a staunch defence of his compatriot. He said: “Fernando was doing a great job. Afterwards, Demba gave us something we didn’t before. These people who like to quote stats and stats, they don’t have any clue about what is going on.

Benitez spoke about the time prior to Ba’s arrival. He added: “When you have one striker for a month and a half and cannot change, it’s more difficult for the striker. When you have now two strikers you can manage.

The manager was also quizzed on his decision to leave John Terry, who has been out injured for the last few weeks, on the bench for the Arsenal game. He replied: “He has to play, but you cannot play him in these kinds of games because, obviously, you have to play at home and you play high and it’s more difficult for him if he has not this match fitness.

However, Terry may make a return to the Chelsea line-up in midweek, as they look to overturn their 2-0 loss to Swansea in the first leg.

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