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Benitez praises Torres turnaround

ESPN staff
April 4, 2013 « ICC adopts no-ball law after Finn problem | Chartbeat test »

Rafael Benitez praised Fernando Torres' all-round performance after the striker scored twice as Chelsea took control of their Europa League quarter-final against Rubin Kazan with a 3-1 victory.

Torres scored in either half to inspire a win that gives Rafael Benitez's side a clear advantage ahead of next week's second leg in Moscow.

"It's good for his confidence," Benitez said after Torres doubled his goal tally for 2013. "His work-rate was really good. I'm pleased for him.

"I have said before, he's training well. It was a question of time. He scored two goals today and hopefully it will be the same in the next game."

The only sour note for Chelsea was the concession of an away goal after skipper John Terry was adjudged to have handled in the area just before half-time.

Both Benitez and Terry thought the decision was harsh after a well-hit shot struck the arm of the former England skipper.

"When someone has a shot 10 yards away it is difficult to get out of the way," Terry told ESPN. "I had my arms down by my side. (The referees' interpretation) is different all around the world. We need to set the record straight all around.

"It's different if my arms are up, but when your arms are down by your side - it's difficult."

Chelsea had seemingly been cruising at that point with Victor Moses following Torres' opener to make it 2-0, and while Bibras Natcho stroked home the spot-kick, Benitez was enthused by a second-half performance that was rewarded by Torres' second - heading home Juan Mata's floated cross.

"It was a good job. We were in control - 3-1 is not bad, but could be better," he said. "It (the penalty decision) was harsh, but these decision you have to carry on and get third goal. We did it and we were hoping for a fourth goal.

"We didn't have any problems and then created our own problem. I think we have enough quality for the second leg. It will be more difficult. They will be attacking more but I think we have the quality."

Terry said he did not believe the tie was yet over as he prepares to return to the Luzhniki Stadium - the venue where he missed the penalty kick against Manchester United that would have won the Champions League in 2008.

"They've got some danger going forward," he said. "The pitch will be difficult and the weather. The tie is certainly not over."

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