Di Matteo backs under-fire Torres

  • Last Updated: October 27 2012, 11:28 BST

Roberto Di Matteo has launched his most sustained defence yet of Fernando Torres after the striker's latest Chelsea horror show.

Di Matteo backs under-fire Torres

Torres, arguably more than ever, looked like a £50million misfit in Tuesday's Champions League defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk as his Jekyll-and-Hyde form showed no sign of abating.

The 28-year-old has been performing better outside the box than at any point during his nightmare first 18 months at Stamford Bridge but is still nowhere near the ruthless goalscorer Chelsea made the most expensive player ever acquired by a British club almost two years ago.

Although he has netted six times this season he has fluffed countless other gilt-edged chances, especially when put clean through.

And unlike last term, when he played second fiddle to Didier Drogba, Torres has no such excuses at present, having been the only player to start all of Chelsea's matches this season.

He will almost certainly continue that run in Sunday's crunch top-of-the-table clash with Manchester United and Di Matteo refused to acknowledge he was still struggling.

"I have no concerns about Fernando," he said, admitting Tuesday was not the Spaniard's best game.

"He always works hard for the team and, whether he scores or not, he's always contributing.

"We can't just rely on one player. We want to share the responsibility.

"Sometimes, he gets more chances, sometimes less. But he's been scoring goals, he's been making goals, and we can't expect him to be scoring every game."

Pointing out Torres had score almost one goal every two games, he added: "He just had a difficult season but I think this season is completely different.

"He started very well, he's playing well, he's looking good, so I would rather focus the energy on now and the future.

"I think he's shown all the signs from this season.

"He's scored in the Community Shield, he's scored four in the league, he's scored one in the cup.

"So he's been scoring goals. But he's been making goals as well."

Asked about Torres' recurring failing from one-on-one chances, Di Matteo said: "Strikers are instinctive and it's difficult to understand what goes through their minds when they're in that position.

"I've never been a striker, so I wouldn't be able to know that.

"They have that instinct and he's always had it and he still has it."


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