• Premier League: What They Said

What They Said: Benitez defends goalshy Torres

ESPN staff
December 1, 2012 « Watch the FA Cup 3rd Round Draw live from 2.40pm | Chartbeat test »

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Premier League round-up: City held by Everton as Arsenal and Chelsea both lose

Rafael Benitez defended striker Fernando Torres after the Spain striker's goal drought continued as Chelsea were beaten 3-1 by West Ham at Upton Park.

"I thought the team had chances, not just Fernando," he said. "When you are attacking and you are controlling the game like we did in the first half, you have to score goals. In the first half we just had to score more goals. We have to improve. We know that football has two halves, the game has two halves. In the first half we had two or three chances - we just need to score more goals."

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was delighted with his decision to bring on Mohamed Diame at half-time as the Senegal international sparked a superb fightback.

"We started okay but when they scored we just lost our confidence," Allardyce said. "I think we lost our momentum. I just needed to make some changes, bring in some fresh legs. It was all about playing in the opposition's half, playing off Carlton Cole. I felt he was itching for a real good game."

Everton manager David Moyes was fuming after his side conceded a controversial penalty which Carlos Tevez converted to secure a 1-1 draw for champions Manchester City at Etihad Stadium. Moyes felt Edin Dzeko went to ground too easily after tangling with Marouane Fellaini.

"It is not a penalty kick," he said. "I don't know how many penalties Manchester City have had in their home games recently, but as far as I know it is quite a few. They got another one today. You can't be giving ones like that. There'd be a penalty every time there's a corner kick."

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini was left frustrated by his strikers as a solitary penalty by Carlos Tevez left them forced to settle with a point at home.

He said: "In this moment we are not very strong with our strikers. We need them to score more goals. They are four top strikers but this can happen during the season. It is important they work hard like they worked today. [Edin] Dzeko, Tevez, Sergio [Aguero], Mario [Balotelli] - in this moment we are like this but I think we will solve this problem."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side were well beaten following a 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea: "We were not good and Swansea deserved to win. We looked very jaded after two away games in the Champions League. Where we were guilty was with three minutes to go at 0-0, if you cannot win you must not lose.

"I believed we tried very hard to get back into the game, but we weren't sharp enough. We didn't create enough chances, we will work on it. Our fans cannot be happy when we do not win games and what we produced today is not enough to keep our fans happy."

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas leapt to Gareth Bale's defence after the winger was booked for diving during Spurs' 3-0 win at Fulham: "He has been harshly treated. Situations need to be addressed. Don't forget, this is a player who has had treatment on his ankle."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was delighted to see his side take all three points after a 1-0 win over Southampton, but has urged the Reds to kill games off earlier.

"I thought we were terrific," he said. "We just lacked more of a finishing touch. I really enjoyed watching us today. As the season goes on, hopefully, some of our chances will start to go in. Overall, we were well deserving of the win and the game should have been out of sight sooner."

Nigel Adkins felt Southampton could have got something from the game, with Rickie Lambert having threatened with two first-half shots and an improved performance after the break. "We are disappointed in respect of we haven't got anything from the game,'' he said. "We have come away from home in a good run of form of late but Liverpool's movement was very good today and we couldn't get a grip of the football. If we could have got to half-time at 0-0 that would have been pleasing but a free header in the penalty area has given them a 1-0 lead."

New Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp is confident a first win of the season is just around the corner after seeing his side squander a hatful of chances in a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa

"We played well, and after a difficult start we came back and dominated the game, we had all the chances and deserved to win the game. We just couldn't get the second goal. We are in a difficult position but you've got to keep believing, working hard, we need that first win to get us going. We needed it today but it didn't come and we need to try hard to get it next week against Wigan."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis insists he has "not turned into a genius'' after engineering a 1-0 win at West Brom - the Potters' first away league victory since January.

"We changed it on Wednesday and Cameron (Jerome) came on and made one and scored a great goal for us. Then that has happened today with the guys combining for the goal. Sometimes that happens for you. I've not turned into a genius. It's just the little bit of luck you need.''

West Brom manager Steve Clarke insisted his decision to make six changes from the side beaten at Swansea in midweek was not the reason for the Baggies' defeat at home to Stoke.

"If anyone said that's why we lost the game, they would be wrong. The changes were made at the end of difficult week with two long away trips to the north east and south Wales. The boys who played in the two away games put in a lot of effort and I thought it was right time to freshen team up.''

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