Tuesday 16 January 2018

Critics of Torres are ‘clueless’, Benitez blasts

Chelsea Coach Rafa Benitez
Chelsea Coach Rafa Benitez

FERNANDO Torres once again failed to score yesterday, but the interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has slammed statistics-obsessed critics as being clueless.

Torres failed to score against Arsenal in the 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge yesterday. It was his seventh successive match without a goal - his longest barren run of the season.

Supporters will again point to no lack of effort from the £50m former Liverpool man, but plenty of Chelsea fans made their feelings known during his 81st-minute substitution for Demba Ba who was widely cheered as he came on

The pair's respective goalscoring records reflect poorly on Torres, who was arguably defended more staunchly yesterday by Benitez than ever before.

"Fernando was doing a great job," he said. "Afterwards, Demba gave us something we didn't have before.

"These people who like to quote stats and stats, they don't have any clue about what is going on.

"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."

Fatigue could certainly be one factor hampering Torres' performances and Benitez admitted the striker was not the only Chelsea player running on empty by full-time yesterday.

Juan Mata was another, while Frank Lampard and Ramires were both forced to play 90 minutes due to an ankle knock picked up by David Luiz and John Obi Mikel's African Nations Cup absence.

Luiz's injury also meant fewer options in defence but Benitez resisted the urge to hand captain John Terry his first start since November.

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport