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Mar 15, 2013

Benitez hopes goal will spark Torres run

Interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez says he hopes the goal Fernando Torres scored to settle the Europa League tie against Steaua Bucharest "will be the first of a lot".

• Raynor: Rafa has last laugh

The Stamford Bridge strike, only the second in 20 games for the £50 million man, sealed a 3-2 aggregate win over the Romanians and put Chelsea into the quarter-finals.

Benitez said he was pleased with the work-rate Torres had been showing in training, adding that the Blues coaching staff had felt a return to goalscoring form was "close".

"It [the goal] was important for him. It was important - the main thing - for the team. We knew he was working really hard, he was training really well," the manager explained.

"Two days ago he was scoring a lot of goals in training. We knew he was close. Hopefully it will be the first of a lot."

Torres also saw a late penalty come back off the crossbar, but his manager said the fact he had chosen to take it was a good sign.

"He has confidence now and he can take the responsibility," he said. "We are quite pleased because he was taking the responsibility.

"It's good. He scored, and afterwards he had more confidence, and that is positive for the team and positive for him for the future."

Juan Mata and John Terry scored the other goals as Chelsea recovered from their 1-0 first leg defeat and bounced back from going behind again when Vlad Chiriches scored for Steaua.

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