CHELSEA PROGRESS

Chelsea needed a late goal from Eden Hazard in order to progress into the last 16 stage of the Europa league. The 1-1 draw against Sparta Prague helped Chelsea move into the next round on aggregate victory.

However, all the talk after the match has been about the form of the striker Fernando Torres. The Spaniard has managed just one goal in his last 14 matches for the club. That solitary goal came in the match against League One opposition Brentford. However, the manager Rafa Benitez refused to criticise the 28-year-old by saying that he wants to look at the positive aspects.

Benitez has pointed out to the four chances that Torres had in the match as a positive aspect. He has said that it would have been worrisome if Torres did not have any opportunities during the match. The former Liverpool striker showed a spark of form immediately after the arrival of Benitez. Torres was at his imperious best when he played under Benitez at Liverpool.

However, the honeymoon period between him and Benitez certainly seems to have gone by after Torres has looked disinterested and out of sorts in recent matches. Benitez has said that he continues to work in training with Torres in order to improve his goal scoring record – though if you click here you’ll see that his chances of scoring aren’t that great – you might well be better off betting on the horse racing!?

“We could be talking about Fernando not scoring goals and him having had four chances but let’s turn it into a positive: he had those four chances. I’ve seen him in games not having these chances because he’s not in the right position. But this wasn’t a situation where the striker disappeared. He was in the right place at the right time. The goalkeeper stopped him, and he missed some chances. Are we disappointed he didn’t score? Yes, we are,” said Ben√≠tez about the poor form experienced by his striker.