Europa League news

Torres: UCL exit shot Blues to final

May 4, 2013
By Kevin Palmer

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has claimed the club's premature demise in this season's Champions League acted as an inspiration in their drive to the Europa League final.

Fernando Torres celebrate his goal against FC Basel
GettyImagesFernando Torres celebrate his goal against FC Basel

• Chelsea advance to Europa final

After helping Chelsea progress to the showpiece event of UEFA's second string competition, the Spanish hit-man has urged his team-mates complete another European triumph when they take on Benfica in the Europa League final in Amsterdam.

"After being knocked out of the Champions League we wanted to play in another European final, we have shown everyone who thought we wouldn't take it seriously that we are prepared to fight for the competition," Torres told the Blues website - chelseafc.com.

"It's important for the club as we can become the first team to win the two trophies in a row, we are in the final now so we have one more step to go."

Torres admitted the challenge presented by Benfica may well be a step up from the opposition they have faced in the Europa League so far, but he is convinced the reigning Champions League holders have what it takes to secure more glory on the continent.

"Hopefully we can have another good memory after the final but we know how good Benfica are," he stressed. "They are doing really well in the Portuguese league and if they win their next game they are champions.

"We have David Luiz and Ramires who used to play for them, so they give us updates about their fixtures. They are one of the biggest teams on the continent, so let's see what happens."

Torres has scored four times in Chelsea's Europa League quarter-finals and semi-final victories, but is doing his best to deflect attention away from his own improved form, preferring to focus more on the Blues' domestic and continental ambitions.

"I've been scoring goals, helping the team to win matches and now we're really looking forward to the final," added Torres. "We need to focus on that game (in Amsterdam), but also on the Premier League because we need to finish in the top four to make sure we are playing in the Champions League next season."