• Champions League

'Disappointed' Torres expected to start final

ESPN staff
May 20, 2012

Fernando Torres confessed he expected to be selected in the starting XI for Chelsea's Champions League final against Bayern Munich, and revealed that he urged his team-mates to ditch their defensive tactics in Saturday's famous victory.

Torres had to watch from the bench for 84 minutes as Chelsea were dominated by Bayern at the Allianz Arena. Thomas Muller's late opener proved the cue for the Spaniard's introduction, and Torres admitted he was stunned not to be picked by Roberto Di Matteo.

"I was expecting to start,'' said Chelsea's £50 million man. "It was a big surprise for me, a big disappointment.

"But, in the final, the main thing is to win - it doesn't matter who plays.''

Torres' introduction alongside Didier Drogba helped drag Chelsea back into the match, with the former winning a corner from which the latter netted the Blues' equaliser. The game was eventually won on penalties.

After 120 minutes of football, Bayern had registered a staggering 43 shots at goal compared to Chelsea's nine as the English side produced a backs-to-the-wall rearguard action. Torres insisted the Blues caused their own problems by giving up too much ground, something he tried to change when he was finally introduced into the action.

"We needed to attack,'' Torres said. "We were playing like we had the handbrake on, looking like we couldn't attack, but I think we could, and in extra-time we showed we could play counter-attack as well.''

Torres and Di Matteo appeared to exchange words as the Chelsea boss attempted to select his penalty takers, with the costly striker not appearing among the Blues' five takers. Torres, though, still revelled in the joy of victory and dedicated the win to the club's fans.

"We had good luck at the right time but I think we're the right team to win this Champions League,'' Torres said.

"It's for these guys [the fans]. They have been supporting us all season, a very difficult season when no-one believed in us, a lot of ups and downs. At the end, they are the ones who deserve it.''

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