Wednesday 17 January 2018

£50m price tag meant Torres had to start - Fergie

Jamie Holland

Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson insisted the pressure of Fernando Torres's £50m price tag forced manager Carlo Ancelotti to play his misfiring striker as 10-man Chelsea were dumped out of the Champions League at Old Trafford.

The striker, who had not scored in 817 minutes and 13 matches for club and country before last night, was substituted at half-time after a torrid 45 minutes which prompted Ancelotti to admit his gamble had failed.

Asked if he had made a mistake playing Torres instead of Drogba, Ancelotti said: "Maybe. Could be. I told you a lot of times this season I wanted to start with Fernando for this kind of game, these type of tactics.

"Didier played well in the second half. I wanted to put more pressure up front because we needed to score. Didier was fresh and he could use his power up front. This was the reason I took out Fernando."

Ferguson, however, believed including Torres had everything to do with money.

"A lot of people thought Drogba would play," he said. "I thought having signed Torres for the money they did they had to play him. I wasn't 100 per cent sure but I couldn't see how they could leave Torres out."

Ferguson, however, supported Chelsea's decision to sign the former Liverpool striker.

"They had the opportunity to sign Torres and I don't think anyone would have turned it down," he said. "Everyone said at the time it was fantastic business. You can't criticise him (Ancelotti) for that, it was a good signing. It isn't working at the moment but he is a young man and there are other seasons ahead.

Irish Independent

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