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Senegal through but lose pair to suspension

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Chelsea blamed for Torres slump

Fernando Torres' mentor Antonio Sanz has accused Chelsea of being responsible for the striker's poor run of form and claims manager Andre Villas-Boas is close to the sack.

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Torres has scored just two goals in 21 Premier League games as Chelsea fight to claim fourth place and a Champions League berth and his lack of goals has not helped ease the pressure on Villas-Boas.

The misfiring £50 million forward was also omitted from the Spain squad for this week's friendly victory over Venezuela, but Torres' former agent and ghost writer has defended the 27-year-old.

"It's true that Fernando Torres' stats aren't that great and that's the reason he's not with Spain for the Venezuela game," Sanz told the Daily Mail. "But I don't think Torres has a problem, it's just that Chelsea aren't helping him find his form.

"According to Chelsea's players, there is a bad atmosphere in the dressing room."

Sanz pointed the finger of blame at the Chelsea manager, saying: "Villas-Boas is not fulfilling Chelsea's expectations and he's really scared because he is really close to getting sacked."

On Tuesday, Villas-Boas compared Torres to former Blues flops Andrei Shevchenko and Mateja Kezman, who like the Spain striker both arrived at the club with excellent scoring records before seeing their goals dry up at Stamford Bridge.

"We have been through the Torres situation before with Shevchenko and Kezman," Villas-Boas said. "But Torres' problems may have also come from a change of philosophy at the club."

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