Benitez comes to defence of Chelsea striker Torres

Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez believes Fernando Torres is in better form than his goal tally indicates after the Spanish striker again failed to find the net for the Blues, drawing a blank in their narrow win over Sparta Prague in the Europa League, according to ESPN.

Torres had a number of chances to score, ESPN notes, but could not find a way though, with Chelsea needing a late strike from Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard to see off the Czech Republic side.

The Premier League club did hold an away goal advantage from the first leg but that was cancelled out in the first-half of the match at Stamford Bridge when David Lafata netted in the 17th minute. The scores remained level until Hazard intervened in the second minute of injury time, sending Chelsea through.

Benitez declined to criticise Torres’ wayward finishing and called for his former Liverpool colleague, who has 15 goals to his name this season but only one, against Brentford, since before Christmas, to be judged on his overall contribution to the game.

He said: ““You can analyse a striker for the number of goals he scores. Maybe you’re right. But he did a great job for the team tonight…I disagree he was playing badly. But of course we want him to take the chances that come his way. If he continues working like today and playing like he did today, he will score goals. I’m convinced about that.

We could be talking about Fernando not scoring goals, and he had four chances. But he had four chances. Let’s turn it into a positive. I’ve seen him in games not having these chances because he’s not in the right position.

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