Fernando Torres will improve vows Carlo Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti maintains it is only a matter of time before Chelsea see the best of £50million striker Fernando Torres - and vowed the champions are not about to give up on the title race.
Torres had been the name on everyone's lips in the build-up to yesterday afternoon's much-hyped Barclays Premier League clash against former club Liverpool at Stamford Bridge following his British transfer record move from Anfield.
However, it was not to be a dream debut for the Spaniard, who put an early 20-yard effort high into the stands but lacked any real service during an ineffective team performance from the home side, and was eventually replaced by Salomon Kalou after 68 minutes.
Moments later and the Reds fans - who had taken great delight in barracking their former Kop idol throughout the match - were celebrating when Raul Meireles slammed the ball in after a mix-up between Chelsea keeper Petr Cech and Branislav Ivanovic which was enough to secure another victory for Kenny Dalglish's improving side.
Ancelotti, however, sees no reason why deploying Torres, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in a front three should not work as Chelsea battle to overturn a 10-point deficit on Manchester United, who had lost at bottom club Wolves on Saturday.
"We have to give Fernando time to adjust to the shape, but I think that he will do it quickly," said the Chelsea boss, whose team had chalked up three successive league wins.
"We played a fantastic game with this shape at Sunderland and wanted to reproduce that, but Liverpool were strong defensively, put strong pressure in their half, and we were not able to find the solution.
"The problem wasn't that Torres played - he did a good job on the pitch.
"We had difficulty finding enough space in front, because Liverpool defended very well and they put three defenders in the middle, and we didn't find the right way to attack them and were too slow playing from the back."
Ancelotti added: "The problem was not putting these players together, they have a lot of quality and I will try everything to put them together.
"Obviously we could play better as a team, not just in front.
"When you don't play quickly from the back, you have difficulty playing well up front."
Ancelotti accepts it will be a big ask for his side to haul themselves back into the championship race, but said: "We have to try to fight again for the title.
"The Premier League is very difficult in every game, so it could happen that United can lose again.
"Maybe now we have less possibility to close the gap, but we have to try again."
The travelling Liverpool fans revelled in Torres' ineffective display, chanting "you should have stayed at a big club" as the World Cup winner took his place in the Chelsea dugout.
Ancelotti maintained it had been the right decision to start with the Spain striker.
"After 60 minutes and a very busy week, it was good for him to come off," Ancelotti said.
"Fernando has experience, he has confidence and didn't show problems before the game.
"He was enthusiastic to play, excited, and it didn't show a problem."
Latest in Sport
- 1 Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 2 Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
- 3 1000 people played Foo Fighters simultaneously to try and get them to play their city
- 4 Every club should be like Labour – you can’t join as a new member unless you’re already a member
- 5 Doctor Who: Christopher Eccleston says why he left the BBC series after just one series
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'