TORRES: PREPARED TO FIGHT
Fernando Torres praised our second-half display against Basel after three goals in a 10-minute spell booked a Europa League final date with Benfica in Amsterdam.
The Blues had trailed at half-time to a Mohamed Salah strike, but Torres equalised four minutes after the restart - his 20th goal of the season - before Victor Moses and David Luiz sealed a 3-1 win on the night and a 5-2 aggregate triumph.
'I'm happy with the performance and the goal, but especially with the mentality the team showed in the second half,' he said. 'We weren't performing at the level we should have been [in the first half] but in the second half everything was different.
'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.
'It's important for the club, 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.'
The Spanish striker, who has now netted five times over the course of our Europa League campaign, was delighted to secure a place in a second successive European final, but believes Benfica, who beat Fenerbahce 3-2 on aggregate in the other semi-final, will provide the toughest of tests.
'Hopefully we can have another good memory after the final but we know how good they are,' said the 28-year-old. 'They are doing really well in the Portuguese league and if they win their next game they are champions.
Torres went on to single out the recent contribution of David Luiz, after the Brazilian scored another wonderful goal to put the seal on the win.
'He has been brilliant in these two games,' explained Torres. 'He scored a great goal at home and also in the first game. Without that it wouldn't have been the same.
'I'm happy for him that he's shown he can play in midfield as well as at the back so it's good for everyone.'
The Spanish striker enjoyed another impressive display against the Swiss side, and appears to be hitting form at a crucial time.
With the Europa League final just under a fortnight away, attention turns towards two crucial Premier League matches - against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur - with Torres stressing the importance of both.
'I've been scoring goals, helping the team to win matches and now we're really looking forward to the final,' said Torres.
'We need to focus on that game now 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.'