The Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has defended the form of the striker Fernando Torres, who once again could not manage to get on the scoresheet. The Spaniard has been on a run of just one goal in more than 10 matches since the turn of the year. He appeared to be prevented by the arrival of Benitez after a run of six goals in just seven matches, but the spark has once again gone out of the 27-year-old. Torres looked extremely disinterested in the recent Europa league match against Sparta Prague. Chelsea managed to come out with a victory in the first leg courtesy of a lone goal from the midfielder Oscar.

This has put them in a strong position to qualify for the next round of the competition, but there has been heavy criticism of the striker Torres after yet another poor performance. The striker has not managed to find the net since the turn of the year apart from the solitary goal against League One opposition Brentford in the FA Cup. Chelsea missed a number of play opportunities in the first half with Torres mainly guilty of them. He also did not help his teammates create opportunities as well, but Benitez defended his fellow countryman by choosing to praise his work rate.

“His work rate today was really good and thanks to him the rest of the team, especially the second line of offensive players, they could create. His job today was push and run and keep their defenders deep so he could create space for the other players. Everybody expects from a striker just to score goals, but he’s doing also a great job for the team,” said Benitez. As a result of this victory, pressure is slightly eased on the Spaniard after the 4-0 win over Wigan during the weekend.