Fernando Torres feeling 'fresh'

  • Last Updated: September 30 2012, 13:17 BST

Fernando Torres insists he does not need to be rested like Juan Mata after the pair combined again to fire Chelsea three points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Fernando Torres celebrates with John Terry.

For the second successive game, Torres and Mata linked up to devastating effect as the European champions won 2-1 at Arsenal.

As in Tuesday's Capital One Cup thrashing of Wolves, each set up the other's goal at the Emirates Stadium, Torres scoring from Mata's free-kick before earning the foul from which his fellow Spaniard netted the winner.

Mata's return to the side after being given a fortnight off following his Euro 2012 and Olympic exertions has reinvigorated both Chelsea and Torres.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo decided to give Mata a complete break amid fears he could suffer burn-out and the Italian may have similar concerns about Torres, who is the only player to have started every one of the club's games this season.

Tuesday's Champions League match against Nordsjaelland might be the ideal time to rest the 28-year-old if Daniel Sturridge is fit.

But, having spent much of last season kicking his heels on the bench, a siesta was the furthest thing from Torres' mind.

"I've been resting last season too many games, so I'm fresh now," he told Chelsea TV.

"I'm feeling good and now we have a very important game against a great team.

"It's an important game for us in the Champions League because we didn't start with the three points."

That was in Chelsea's Group E game against Juventus, which saw them blow a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2.

It was also the first match in which Di Matteo started all three of Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar in the same team.

He did so again on Saturday, despite question marks over whether the trio could function together as a unit - especially away from home.

Torres scoffed at the pundits who doubted the enterprise, saying: "They are not experts."

He added: "If you have great players, you have to use them.

"That gives you more chances to score and to win.

"Arsenal are a great team in possession but we were not scared to keep the ball.

"Also, this is the best way to defend, and this is one of the main reasons why Chelsea are not conceding too many goals, because we have the ball and we do it with quality.

"So why can't all of these kinds of players play together?"

Despite deserving to win yesterday, Chelsea's failure to punish Arsenal on the break allowed their opponents to go close to equalising more than once.

Torres was largely to blame, wasting several opportunities in an up-and-down performance that saw him score a brilliant goal, bully Laurent Koscielny all afternoon but still lack fluency in the final third.

He admitted: "We created so many chances on the counter-attack.

"We couldn't score the third one and should have killed the game."

Di Matteo was delighted with Torres' contribution and the increasing understanding between Mata, Hazard and Oscar.

But he added: "We have not been together for much time and that shows sometimes, so it is just a matter of working on the training ground to try to improve."

Di Matteo also played down his own side's title chances, saying: "It's only six games into the league.

"But it gives you confidence and it gives you belief. And, going forward, hopefully it will give us a good lift."

All the talk pre-match had been about how John Terry would react after being found guilty by an independent Football Association panel of using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand.

What slipped under the radar somewhat was Frank Lampard missing a third successive match - although he was injured on Tuesday night.

Lampard's lack of game time was a hot potato during the reign of Andre Villas-Boas last season.

Di Matteo said: "It is always difficult to leave a player out.

"All the guys who started are internationals as well but, because we are playing so many games, there is room for everybody.

"That is the only way we can achieve anything, by using all of the squad."


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