Torres: Benitez made us better
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is convinced Rafael Benitez is leaving behind a better team than the one he took over.
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Benitez's tenure as interim boss ended as Chelsea completed their post-season tour of the United States with a second successive loss to Manchester City.
The Blues were beaten 5-3 at Yankee Stadium in New York, two days after losing 4-3 in St Louis.
But those results hardly mattered and after taking charge amid much fan hostility due to his Liverpool past, and overseeing Europa League success, the Spaniard leaves in positive circumstances.
Countryman Torres, who captained the team in the Big Apple, said: "He came in in a difficult situation, personally, for him with the reaction of the fans and the team were not doing well at the time.
"It takes a bit of time to do better but after that, at the end of the season, the team was much better than at the beginning.
"He has helped the team, the team has been good. The players are better.
"I think he came to do a job and he did. He must be happy because he won a trophy with Chelsea."
For City, the game rounded off a highly successful week.
The club caused a stir by launching a new Major League Soccer franchise on Tuesday and they have excited potential new fans with two entertaining victories.
Chelsea fans have vastly outnumbered City supporters in the two matches, for which the combined attendance was 87,725.
That underlines the good work the Londoners have done in the US in recent years and shows how far behind City are at present in terms of American profile.
Midfielder Gareth Barry, who scored the opening goal, said: "It was a great spectacle and the supporters turned out in great numbers again.
"It was about something other than the result. We've had a great few days.
"Fans here and in St Louis have watched two great games with lots of goals and lots of attacking football.
"I'm not sure our defensive coach will be too happy but it is great to see games like that.
"It is a massive step for Manchester City to get involved with a club in the MLS.
"Nothing like that has been done before. It's exciting times for the club."
Samir Nasri scored two well-taken goals for City while James Milner and Edin Dzeko also got on the scoresheet.
Chelsea contributed to an entertaining encounter with Ramires striking twice and Juan Mata curling in an excellent free-kick.