LONDON -- Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has criticized striker Fernando Torres for missing a chance during his side's 1-1 draw with west London rivals Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
Torres was given the nod ahead of Didier Drogba for the first time in seven Premier League matches, with his manager admitting that the work rate of the Spaniard in training had been a key factor in his decision to select him for the starting XI.
The former Liverpool striker grabbed an assist in the second half, teeing up his compatriot Juan Mata to open the scoring quickly after the restart.
“We decided to bring in Fernando who has been working well [in training]. He had a good game, worked well for the team and assisted Mata for the goal. He showed same level as he does in training,” he said in his post-match press conference.
However, Villas-Boas then went on to say that he expects his strikers to score goals, and criticized the 27-year-old for missing a chance during the match.
“I think that we expect our strikers to score, and we have a lot of goals spread out by the team. [But] what is important is that when a striker has an opportunity, he makes most of it. He [Torres] had big chance in first half and we expect him to take them,” he explained.
The 34-year-old also conceded that Chelsea’s title hopes may now have come to an end, emphasizing the magnitude of the gap in points between the Blues and league leaders Manchester City.
“It’s pretty difficult. The distance could be very, very difficult to challenge for this Premiership. It would have been a good December to get six points from home games [against Fulham and Aston Villa]," he said.
“But bearing in mind this draw and the fact that Manchester City and [Manchester] United will do their jobs, it makes it difficult.
He added, "Maybe the Premiership is over for us at the moment. You have to be realistic. You cannot have false expectancy over 13 points."