Saturday, October 3, 2009

Carvalho doesn't fear Torres but rates him one of the best

Ricardo Carvalho has no worries about facing Fernando Torres today – and has warned the on-fire Spaniard that Chelsea know exactly how to bring him back down to earth.

Carvalho is a great admirer of Liverpool’s star striker, who has been scoring goals for fun in the Premier League this season.

Torres is on a high after a superb hat-trick in last week’s 6-1 thrashing of Hull took his tally to eight in seven league matches.

But Carvalho said: “I’m not having sleepless nights about facing him. I like him, he is a great player. He has good pace, good quality. He is good in the air, he can shoot with his left and with his right and he can dribble. It is good to watch him play.

“But we can stop him scoring. The most important thing is that you don’t give him the space to hurt you.

“If you concentrate and don’t let him have any space it will be harder for him.

“We can stop him by playing as a team - by being compact and being focused all the time. We have to play as a team and defend as a team - it is no good playing as an individual.”

Since Torres’s arrival in 2007, he has scored 46 goals in 64 Premier League appearances, with last week’s treble his third league hat-trick.

But Portuguese defender Carvalho can’t wait to go head-to-head with the man rated Europe’s top striker.

“I am excited about facing him,” said Carvalho. “He has got skill and pace. It is a test. I like to challenge myself. It is always great to face the best one. But everyone knows it is not just Torres that makes Liverpool so dangerous.

“They have top players throughout. There’s also Gerrard, Kuyt and Babel - all good players for them up front.”

The Blues host Rafa Benitez’s men in today’s battle of the title hopefuls having lost their 100 per cent record and top spot with last week’s defeat at Wigan.

It was their first loss under Carlo Ancelotti - and they followed that up with an uninspiring 1-0 Champions League win over Apoel Nicosia.

Carvalho, 31, revealed the coach went ballistic after the match in Cyprus.

And he admitted Chelsea would have no chance of beating the Reds unless they made a huge improvement in their all-round game.

He said: “Everyone realises that we have to do much better than this. Liverpool will be tough to beat and every one of us has to improve.

“We have to play much better – and we will play much better.

“When you play big teams that sometimes happens. We can’t afford to play the way we did against Apoel when we take on Liverpool.

“The coach was not happy with our performances at Wigan and at Apoel.

“He started to be angry at Wigan away and on Wednesday night he was even more angry because again we didn’t play well.

“And he has reasons to be angry. Sometimes he is so angry he speaks in Italian – then you know he is really upset. He starts to shout and you know he is angry.”

The ex-Inter Milan star has known a lot of heartbreak in Chelsea’s clashes with Liverpool, especially in the Champions League.

But the one game that really stands out for Carvalho is the superb 3-2 win at the Bridge in that tournament’s 2008 semi-final.

“We have played them so many times since I have been in England with Chelsea,” said Carvalho. “But my favourite game was when we beat them in the semi-finals of the Champions League to get to the final.

“That was a good one because for two years before they put us out and we missed out.”

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