Torres helps Chelsea into Club World Cup final

YOKOHAMA, Japan Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:41pm IST

1 of 3. Fernando Torres of Britain's Chelsea reacts after scoring a goal against Mexico's Monterrey during their Club World Cup semi-final soccer match in Yokohama, south of Tokyo December 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

Related Topics

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Fernando Torres continued his recent resurgence as Chelsea confidently brushed aside Mexico's Monterrey 3-1 to reach the final of the Club World Cup in Japan on Thursday.

The English side and their interim manager Rafael Benitez will be under pressure to beat Brazil's Corinthians in Sunday's final after becoming the first holders to exit the Champions League at the group stage last week.

"We can't afford to lose the final," Benitez, who won the tournament with Inter Milan in 2010 but lost in the 2005 final with Liverpool, told reporters.

"We will see if Corinthians can play at our level. They have Brazilian quality so we know it will be a difficult match."

Juan Mata finished off a classy move in the 17th minute to give Chelsea the lead, smashing in a left-foot shot after a low ball from Ashley Cole, sent clear by a back-heel from Oscar.

Spain team mate Torres added Chelsea's second with a deflected drive 20 seconds after the break, his fifth goal in three games.

Mata's cross was turned into his own net by Darvin Chavez moments later to effectively kill off the game, although Aldo de Nigris grabbed a consolation for Monterrey in stoppage time.

"It's nice to be scoring goals again," said a smiling Torres, still hugely popular with Japanese fans despite only recently emerging from an alarming goal drought.

"To hear the fans chanting my name meant a lot to me. Hopefully I can take that form into the final," added the Spaniard, one of the world's deadliest strikers under Benitez at Liverpool.

"This is a massively important tournament for us. We came a long way and it's a trophy we have to win."

Benitez said Torres, on the score sheet for the third successive game for the first time in a Chelsea shirt, was close to his best.

"Fernando is sharper now and has more confidence," said Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo last month and has yet to win over the Chelsea faithful.

"If we can keep playing at the same level, he will continue to score goals."

European teams have won the last five Club World Cup tournaments. Barcelona lifted the trophy in 2009 and 2011 and Manchester United were the only English winners in 2008.

"European teams are the best in the world," said Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich, understandably frustrated by his side's calamitous start to the second half.

"They pay the most money. Clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona can go out and buy the best players from all over the world. We made mistakes and it cost us dear."

Corinthians, far from convincing in their 1-0 semi-final victory over Egypt's Al-Ahly, won the first Club World Cup in 2000.

(Editing by John Mehaffey)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Formula One

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Honouring Putin

Honouring Putin

FINA stands by decision to honour Putin.  Full Article 

ATP World Tour

ATP World Tour

Murray in Tour Finals, Djokovic and Federer win.  Full Article 

Neymar at Olympics

Neymar at Olympics

Neymar to be called up for Brazil's 2016 Olympic team.  Full Article 

Rio's Suspension

Rio's Suspension

Rio faces fight to get back into QPR side, says Redknapp   Full Article 

Nigeria vs FIFA

Nigeria vs FIFA

Nigeria set to avoid FIFA suspension after court case is dropped  Full Article 

International Career

International Career

Controversial batsman Ryder gets World Cup lifeline.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage