Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Torres: Benitez improved us

Fernando Torres, left, enjoyed playing for Rafael Benitez, right, for a second time

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is convinced Rafael Benitez is leaving behind a better team than the one he took over.

Benitez's tenure as interim boss ended as Chelsea completed their post-season tour of the United States with a second successive loss to Manchester City, who were 5-3 winners at Yankee Stadium in New York two days after losing 4-3 in St Louis.

But countryman Torres, who captained the team in the Big Apple, said of Benitez: "He came in in a difficult situation, personally, for him with the reaction of the fans and the team were not doing well at the time. It takes a bit of time to do better but after that, at the end of the season, the team was much better than at the beginning."

He added: "He has helped the team, the team has been good. The players are better. I think he came to do a job and he did. He must be happy because he won a trophy with Chelsea."

City midfielder Gareth Barry, who scored the opening goal in the victory in New York, said: "It was a great spectacle and the supporters turned out in great numbers again.

"It was about something other than the result. We've had a great few days.

"Fans here and in St Louis have watched two great games with lots of goals and lots of attacking football.

"I'm not sure our defensive coach will be too happy but it is great to see games like that.

"It is a massive step for Manchester City to get involved with a club in the MLS.

"Nothing like that has been done before. It's exciting times for the club."

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