Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1: Fernando Torres was key, says Rafael Benítez
Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1: Rafael Benítez singles out Fernando Torres for special praise after watching his side sink the Gunners at home
Rafael Benítez singled out Fernando Torres for special praise after watching his Chelsea side beat Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues took the lead inside six minutes when Juan Mata expertly controlled Cesar Azpilicueta’s lofted pass and fired past Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal were furious as they felt Ramires had fouled Francis Coquelin in the build-up to the opener.
The home side then doubled their advantage from the spot in the 16th minute, when Frank Lampard slotted away his penalty after Ramires was brought down by Szczesny.
Arsenal were much-improved after the break and Theo Walcott halved the deficit when he latched onto Santi Cazorla’s through-ball and coolly finished past Petr Cech.
But the Blues held firm to close the gap to second-placed Manchester City to six points.
Benítez felt Torres played an important part in the victory, despite the Chelsea striker failing to get on the score-sheet for the sixth game running.
“Today Torres was a key player for us,” said the Chelsea interim boss. “Every run he was always there and ready and pushing the defenders. And he makes space for Mata, a good winger. He and Demba Ba did well.
“We have been doing well, creating chances in all our games. In the games we didn’t win we deserved to win.
“It was just a matter of time until we had a performance like this.”