Benitez praises Torres for taking penalty as Chelsea progress in Europa League

Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has praised Fernando Torres for stepping up and taking a penalty during the Blues’ 3-1 win over Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League, the Daily Mail has reported. Torres’ spot kick struck the bar but the Premier League side progressed to the next round regardless.

Benitez however was impressed that Torres had the confidence to take the penalty in the first place, with the Spain striker having scored what proved to be the decisive, tie-winning goal earlier in the contest.

He has confidence now and he can take the responsibility,” Benitez said. “We are quite pleased because he was taking the responsibility. It’s good. He scored and after he had more confidence and that is positive for the team and positive for him for the future.” The manager also added that Torres was one of three named penalty takers.

Juan Mata opened the scoring in the first-half to draw Chelsea level – Steaua led 1-0 from the first-leg – but the Romanian side pulled ahead again just before half-time through Vlad Chiriches. John Terry equalised with a header from a corner after the break before Torres grabbed the vital third goal, cancelling out Steaua’s lead.

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