- Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has defended Fernando Torres
- The Spain striker missed an open goal during Chelsea's 3-2 defeat
- Torres scored only his second Chelsea goal in the second half of the loss
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has defended Fernando Torres after the striker missed an open goal during the club's 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Villas-Boas, 33, saw his team fall 3-0 behind in the first half at Old Trafford, through goals from Chris Smalling, Nani and Wayne Rooney, before Spain international Torres clawed one back for Chelsea with his first goal of the season early in the second half.
But former Liverpool forward Torres spurned a golden opportunity after 83 minutes, as he fired wide from close range having rounded United goalkeeper David de Gea.
Despite his error, Villas-Boas stood by Torres, 27, and pointed to England international Rooney's second-half penalty miss as proof that even the best strikers can be unlucky.
"Two of the best world strikers missed crazy opportunities," the former Porto coach told a post-match press conference.
"It happened to Fernando, but it also happened to Rooney. It's nothing dramatic, sometimes these balls go in. I think luck didn't fall on our side."
Former Atletico Madrid star Torres has struggled for form since joining Chelsea from English Premier League rivals Liverpool in January, with his goal on Sunday only his second for the London outfit and his first since a 4-1 win over West Ham in April.
If Torres had converted his late opportunity the score would have stood at 3-2, and Villas-Boas was left to wonder what might have been.
"I think 3-2, in that period of the game, could have given us the mental edge ... It would leave us completely exposed at the back, but we would take the risk trying to get the draw."
Chelsea had numerous attempts at goal during an open match, with Brazil midfielder Ramires also guilty of spurning a good opportunity while the score was only 1-0.
"We are pretty happy with how the team reacted to such a negative impact at half time, when the team was playing well. We cannot say the team was playing awful and that 3-0 at half time was a fair result."
Villas-Boas also bemoaned the officiating in the match, claiming English champions United scored their opening two goals from offside positions.
"It didn't fall our way in every kind of the word, not only in terms of goalscoring opportunities but in terms of refereeing decisions or the linesman's decisions ...They influenced the game, it's 2-0 instead of 0-0."
The defeat was Chelsea's first under Villas-Boas and the four-time English title winners have collected 10 points from their first five matches.
Their next Premier League fixtures will see them entertain newly-promoted Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.