6:18am Friday 5th April 2013
© Press Association 2013
Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez was pleased to see Fernando Torres net a brace in the Europa League quarter-final defeat of Rubin Kazan, admitting his countryman had needed a goal.
Having joined the west Londoners for £50million just over two years ago, the Spaniard has rarely delivered the performances his price tag has warranted. Torres' record of just two goals this calendar year has only compounded matters, although here he capped a fine performance by doubling his tally for 2013.
The Spaniard shone against Rubin and netted either side of a Victor Moses strike, giving the west Londoners a 3-1 lead ahead of next week's return leg in Russia. "I am happy with the scoreline but not 100 per cent happy because we conceded a goal when we were in control of the game," said Benitez, whose side were hit by a Bebras Natcho spot-kick.
"It was a shame that we were a little relaxed and that we conceded that goal. I think the penalty was harsh. I was pleased to see the team winning and I said before that Fernando was training really well, working very hard.
"I am pleased for him and not just for the goal but the contribution for the team and the work-rate. We always talk about the strikers and how they have to score goals so confidence is there with Fernando.
"From the beginning I have not doubted his work-rate, but you could see his touch of the ball was much better after the goal because of the confidence he had."
And while impressed by Torres' overall performance, Benitez appreciates the goals were most important for the striker at Stamford Bridge.
"I think Fernando needed to score a goal because every press conference was the same questions," he said.
"We could see the confidence, that he can work hard, so physically he is fine.
"I think he will play well and score goals until the end of the season."
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