thumbnail Hello,

Di Matteo defends decision to leave Torres on Chelsea bench

The Italian has insisted he stands by his decision, despite defeat to Juventus leaving the holders on the brink of a humilating Champions League group stage exit as holders

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has defended his decision to start forward Fernando Torres on the substitutes' bench for his side's 3-0 Champions League loss to Juventus.

The Italian deployed Eden Hazard in a 'false nine' role in place of the former Liverpool man, but saw his side fail to fire as they fell to a heavy defeat in Turin to leave them on the brink of becoming the first ever holders to be eliminated from the competition at the group stage.

However, the 42-year-old has stated that he does not regret overlooking the Spaniard when naming his team for the game.

He told Sky Sports: "I thought this was the team to beat Juventus but if the result is negative you always face repercussions.

"Torres, like all players who don't start, was disappointed but he certainly has a future and we all have to pick ourselves up again.

"I wanted a different approach tonight and to move the three centre-backs around.

HANGING BY A THREAD?
2/1 Chelsea are 2/1 to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League with William Hill
"Their first goal was lucky because of the deflection but we are conceding goals and we are working on it and you need to be solid defensively if you want to win games."

In spite of the defeat, Di Matteo is still hopeful that the Blues can qualify for the knock-out stages and avoid a humiliating Champions League exit.

He added: "We still have hope because mathematically it is still possible because Shakhtar can beat Juve at home.

"In a big club like this - if you have a few bad results - you are going to be under pressure but you have to live with it. It's been like that from day one and it's up to me to pick the players up now."

Chelsea have won just two of their previous eight games in all competitions, sacrificing a four-point lead domestically at the top of the Premier League table in the process, as pressure mounts on Di Matteo.

Related

From the web