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Carlo Ancelotti maintains it is only a matter of time before Chelsea see the best of £50 million striker Fernando Torres – and vowed the champions are not about to give up on the Premier League title race.

“We have to give Fernando time to adjust to the shape, but I think that he will do it quickly,” said the Chelsea manager, 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.”

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