Benitez pleased with confident Torres

15 March 2013 06:47

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez was pleased Fernando Torres had the confidence to take a penalty in the Europa League defeat of Steaua Bucharest - even though the Spaniard missed.

Torres had already scored the crucial third goal in the 3-2 aggregate victory and had the opportunity to double his tally, following earlier efforts from Juan Mata and John Terry, but his effort struck the bar. Rather than bemoan the miss, Benitez was pleased his compatriot, and former player at Liverpool, was prepared to assume penalty duties.

"He has confidence now and he can take the responsibility," said Benitez, who revealed Torres was one of three possible penalty takers.

"We are quite pleased because he was taking the responsibility. It's good. He scored and after he had more confidence and that is positive for the team and positive for him for the future."

Torres' strike was his second goal in 20 games - the effort at Middlesbrough which ricocheted in off his back was belatedly credited to Ramires - and his reward was a nosebleed sustained soon afterwards.

"It (the goal) was important for him," Benitez added. "It was important - the main thing - for the team. We knew he was working really hard, he was training really well.

"Two days ago he was scoring a lot of goals in training. We knew he was close. Hopefully it will be the first of a lot."

Steaua Bucharest coach Laurentiu Reghencampf rued a 12th-minute chance when Raul Rusescu, whose penalty had given his side the first-leg advantage, saw his shot saved by Petr Cech.

"Had he scored in that situation it might have been a different game," Reghencampf said. "Then we conceded two easy goals. This is it at this level. Every game has its own story and tonight we had an important moment in the 45th minute when we drew level. We had a few more chances and we did not manage to score.

"Congratulations to Chelsea, who played very well in the second half. For us this is a very difficult moment now and we have to try to get over it as quickly as possible."

Source: PA