Di Matteo proud of spirit

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Roberto Di Matteo paid tribute to the character shown by his Chelsea players after withstanding a fightback from Aston Villa to win 4-2.

Chelsea boss hails Torres after scoring against Villa

Roberto Di Matteo paid tribute to the character shown by his Chelsea players after withstanding a fightback from Aston Villa to win 4-2. The Blues appeared on course for a straightforward victory when Branislav Ivanovic made it 2-0 early in the second half after Daniel Sturridge's opener. However, Villa drew level after scoring twice in quick succession with just a few minutes remaining, and Di Matteo was pleased to see his men hit back again to win. Ivanovic's second of the afternoon and a first Premier League goal in six months from Fernando Torres swung the game in Chelsea's favour, which Di Matteo says was a fully deserved outcome. "I think we controlled the game well apart from those five minutes when we conceded the two goals," he told Sky Sports. "But it was great spirit from the team to react when we did concede those goals because it could have gone the other way. "That is the quality of these players and we showed it again today. I am so proud of the spirit we are showing and we do not give up. "Villa Park has historically proven to be a difficult ground for us so we knew it was going to be tough. "We have that in the squad not to give up and we showed that today."

Playing catch-up

Di Matteo was delighted to see Torrres return to scoring form, saying: "He had a couple of good chances in the first half and looked dangerous. It was a cracking goal as well." The result lifted Chelsea back to within two points of Tottenham in fourth place ahead of their clash with Swansea on Sunday, while Arsenal also suffered a surprise defeat at Queens Park Rangers. Di Matteo is determined to secure UEFA Champions League qualification for next season but knows it will be a difficult task. He said: "We are playing catch-up and all we can do is try to win our games. We managed to do so today to keep the pressure on. "It is certainly crucial for us to finish there (in the top four)."

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