Torres spoke to the official website of Spain’s Primera Liga last
week, with an English translation later appearing on the striker’s
personal website, where he was quoted as branding Chelsea’s “older”
players as “very slow”, and hailing new team-mate Juan Mata – whom
he set-up for Chelsea’s second goal in stoppage time – as a
necessary signing. In the build-up to Tuesday night’s game, which
was sparked to life by a fine second-half goal from Brazil defender
David Luiz, Villas-Boas revealed he would warn Torres not to speak
so candidly about the club in future if the translation did stand
up. Chelsea now consider the matter closed. “We had a chat and the
situation is solved. The investigation is over,” Villas-Boas said.
“You saw the player involved and he put in a good collective
performance, like the team did. “Hopefully these things won’t arise
in the group again. If they do, it will be the manager who has to
resolve it.” Villa-Boas refused to confirmed whether the misfiring
Spain striker had done enough to play his way into the starting XI
for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League showdown at Manchester United.
“I have to make a decision. We have another couple of days to
train, and he will compete with the other four for that position.
We have to take the best decision possible,” the Chelsea boss said.
With one eye on Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford, Villas-Boas rested
Chelsea captain John Terry completely and left Frank Lampard on the
bench. Chelsea laboured through much of the match, with England
under-21 forward Daniel Sturridge the main livewire before Luiz
tucked home what looked set to be the winner on 67 minutes.
Villas-Boas, though, was happy enough. “We have to be fair that
Leverkusen went one on one with our goalkeeper before we scored,
but we had numerous chances throughout the game. We deserved to win
this game,” he said. “An international week has gone by, then we
had Sunderland after two days and then, after another two days, a
Champions League win against a very tough team. “But I’m pleased,
particularly with good passing and fluency in the game.”
Villas-Boas felt there should be no issue with his team selection.
“It’s just fairness compared to the amount of talent that we have
at our disposal,” he said. “It would be a mistake for me not to try
and keep everybody motivated. That’s the task of any manager. “I
don’t see any braveness in it. I’m sure the players have not
suffered from it as a result in the past.” Villas-Boas accepts his
team will face “different kind of challenge altogether” when
domestic action resumes this weekend. “We face United perhaps in
their most tremendous moment of motivation and flair and style,”
said the Chelsea manager, who feels Didier Drogba may need more
time to recover from a head injury, the striker only set to resume
training with the squad at the end of the week. “A team that has
made its impact at the beginning of the Premier League different
from last year, but I think it provokes in us a good challenge.
“Motivation will be the key factor in the game, and the capacity of
people to transcend themselves and take the game through and come
back from Old Trafford with a win. “We will go there to try to win
it. Let’s see how it happens. It’s going to be a very, very good
game early season for the Premiership.” Leverkusen manager Robin
Dutt believes his team can take encouragement from their encounter.
He said: “We showed we can cause problems and put a lot of hard
work in. “We managed to go into half-time without conceding, then
were unlucky through Michael Ballack that we did not take the lead.
“However, Chelsea did not make any mistakes and we will get more
experience from this as a team.”