English Premiership

Mourinho indebted to Torres

2013-10-28 10:32
Fernando Torres (AFP)

London - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho credited Fernando Torres with working hard to improve his own form after the Spanish striker doggedly earned his side a 2-1 win over Manchester City.

Torres has failed to perform consistently since his move from Liverpool in January 2011 and he looked set for another disappointing day after spurning a glorious early chance in Sunday's Premier League game.

However, he quickly atoned by teeing up Andre Schurrle for the opening goal in the 33rd minute, and after Sergio Aguero equalised for City, he capitalised on a defensive mix-up to snatch a last-minute winner.

The 29-year-old has now scored three goals in two games, having previously gone six matches without a goal in the league, but Mourinho said he could not claim any personal responsibility for the transformation.

"It was a fantastic performance and even better because it was built after an easy goal missed," he said.

"That makes it even more valuable, because when a striker misses an easy chance, many, many times he is affected for the rest of the game.

"And it looks like that moment was the moment Fernando thought, 'I will be the man of the match.'"

Mourinho added: "I did nothing. It's easy now for me to say, 'We did this, we did that,' but we did nothing.

"What I know is that since I arrive, since the first day, he worked very, very hard every day.

"Sometimes he was on the bench, sometimes he was not selected, and sometimes I left him at home, and every day was the same, so credit for him."

Torres said he had been determined to make an impact on the game after blazing over the bar with only City goalkeeper Joe Hart to beat when the score was still 0-0.

On the winning goal, he told Sky Sports: "It's a long ball; every ball has to be the most important ball of the game, because it can be the one which wins you the game.

"The chance I missed in the first half, I thought I was offside. I should have stayed calm. I made the assist and hit the post, so I am happy with my performance."

The victory left Chelsea in second place in the table, two points behind Arsenal, with City four points further back in seventh place.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini said that his side had dropped "stupid points" away from home this season, but he resisted several invitations to discuss Hart's culpability for the winning goal.

The England goalkeeper charged to the edge of his box to field a long ball from Chelsea substitute Willian, only for centre-back Matija Nastasic to head the ball past him, enabling Torres to nip in and score.

"All the analysis with individual players, I do it with the players, not with the press," Pellegrini told reporters at Stamford Bridge.

"You must ask him (Hart) how is his confidence. We will talk during the week."

Asked if Hart's place in the team was at risk, he replied: "From tomorrow (Monday), we are going to see which is the best way to arrange the thing that's repeated in the three matches that we had lost, playing away."

Mourinho celebrated Torres's goal by jumping into the crowd behind the City dug-out and Pellegrini said: "I don't expect him to celebrate in any different way."

Pellegrini also revealed that he chose not to shake hands with Mourinho - who succeeded him as Real Madrid manager in 2010 - after the game, but the Portuguese played down the matter.

"I think Chelsea is guilty, because I want to buy a season ticket for my son and they give season tickets for my son behind the opponent dug-out. I went for him, I promise," Mourinho said.

"He (Pellegrini) lost the game in the last minute, and I have sympathy with that.

"If he was sad because of the result, I understand. If he was sad thinking that I was doing something wrong by going to celebrate there, I accept that, too."

Read more on:    chelsea  |  premier league  |  jose mourinho  |  soccer

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