Champions League: Chelsea's Rafa Benitez praises Fernando Torres' defending

Fernando Torres: The Spaniard has failed to find the net in two months for Chelsea

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Rafa Benitez has attempted to deflect more criticism of Fernando Torres' form in front of goal ahead of Chelsea's do-or-die UEFA Champions League game against Nordsjaelland.

Several Chelsea managers have tried a similar tactic, such as praising the 28-year-old's work-rate or number of assists, despite his poor scoring return.

But Chelsea's current interim boss, Benitez, has now resorted to applauding the most mundane of contributions from the man Chelsea paid a record £50million for almost two years ago - his defending.

"It's not just scoring goals," said Benitez when discussing his fellow Spaniard's latest performance at West Ham United.

"We changed his position in corners, for example. If you analyse the corners against, he was amazing.

"Two or three times he's cleared the ball and afterwards was just doing man-to-man, because it's what he had to do. So, he's helping the team, in this case to defend.

"As a striker, you like him to score goals. Winning is the main thing. Fernando will be an important player for us, is an important player for us."

He added: "We had a training session with finishing and Fernando scored a lot of goals.

Rafa unfazed by fans discontent

"I think he has more confidence and his team-mates know he's trying very hard and that is the main thing for me."

Benitez also sidestepped questions over whether Torres would ever have a better chance than Wednesday night's game against Nordsjaelland to break his latest goal drought.

Other than a somewhat fluky goal against Shakhtar Donetsk, the striker has failed to find the net in two months.

Nordsjaelland are easily the weakest opponents Chelsea have faced during that period but Benitez said: "I said to our players before, 'Be careful. They're a team with nothing to lose'.

"When you play with no pressure, it's not easy."

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What will be the outcome in the match Chelsea vs FC Nordsjaelland?

  • Chelsea
  • Draw
  • FC Nordsjaelland

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