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Di Matteo revels in Torres revival
Interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo talked up the performance of Fernando Torres after the much-maligned Spain striker finally ended his goalscoring drought with a double in the club's 5-2 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Leicester.
Torres had a hand in four of the goals but his biggest and most telling contribution was a brace, having already teed-up Salomon Kalou and Raul Meireles after Gary Cahill's opener. His first goal ended a wait of 25 hours and 41 minutes since he last scored, and he had always looked like ending his drought after an impressive all-round display.
"I think the whole team, the club and supporters are happy (for Torres)," said Di Matteo, who has won all four games since taking over from Andre Villas-Boas a fortnight ago. "He works so hard for the team, he is a great team player. You get rewarded when you work hard in life and I think we are all happy that he helped us win."
The Italian now believes that the £50million man's fortunes could continue to improve. He added: "Hopefully his confidence is going to be high. I didn't mind when he wasn't scoring because as long as we win as a team that is what matters to me."
Di Matteo also hopes that the run of form his side are on can help them continue to banish some of the negative headlines that have blighted them of late. He said: "It was a wonderful team performance which is reflected in the scoreline. We just wanted to get to the next round.
"I think that every game we have won so far has given individually the players, and the team as a whole, a little more confidence and every win just confirms and cements it."
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson felt his side let themselves down defensively against their Barclays Premier League opponents.
"We gave ourselves a mountain to climb," he said. "Going into the game I think we always knew it would be important to make Chelsea work hard to be in front and we didn't do that.
"It was always going to be a tough ask but we always had to keep things tighter than we did. To concede from two set-plays is particularly disappointing."
Pearson was happy with the attacking aspect of his team, Jermaine Beckford and Ben Marshall scoring, and added: "I felt we created a number of chances and our attacking play at times was very good, but unfortunately when you play against quality players like we have today and the defensive side of your game is not spot on you're going to get punished."