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Andre Villas-Boas sticks up for Fernando Torres

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has stood up to his under-fire striker Fernando Torres, after he missed an absolute sitter at Old Trafford yesterday.

The Blues lost 3-1 to Manchester United yesterday afternoon, with the Spaniard scoring his side's only goal right after half-time, and putting in a positive display: had Ramires scored his open goal – laid on by Torres – with the score at 1-0 to United they most likely wouldn't have scored those other two goals in quick succession. And yet, and yet... he still managed to miss an open goal of his own, having rounded De Gea with a superb shimmy and with the goal at his mercy. Oh dear. However Villas-Boas was happy with his performance.

'You have to be fair,' said the Portuguese. 'We have seen two of the world's best strikers miss crazy opportunities, Fernando with his miss and Wayne Rooney with his penalty. This is nothing dramatic but sometimes it becomes something.

'I thought everybody was fantastic with the effort they put in and in being able to mentally react to what happened. We were 3-0 down at half-time, which was unfair, and if it had gone the wrong way it could have been 5-0. It was good the way the team was able to assume responsibility for things not going their way. It takes some courage for the players to assume this.

'We tried everything to win this game but it was impossible. It just didn't fall our way, not only in terms of opportunities but also refereeing decisions.'

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