Torres: Espanyol game must-win

The club have dropped to seven points behind Primera Division leaders Barcelona, and six behind city rivals Real, after a run which has seen them take just five points from a possible 12.

However, with a Champions League last-16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen on the horizon, Torres says Los Colchoneros have their attention firmly set on picking up three points against the Catalan side.

“We have to win because we need to keep in the running, given the position we’re in,” the striker told Spanish newspaper Marca.

“We all know the importance of the games which come after this. If we beat Espanyol, we’ll boost our league position and take greater confidence into the following match.

???Everything hinges on our next game.”

Diego Simeone’s men were held to a 1-1 draw with Valencia on Sunday as Shkodran Mustafi???s late header cancelled out Koke???s opener at the Vicente Calderon.

The course of the game appeared to turn in favour of Los Che when Torres and Koke were brought off in the second half.

And, having acknowledged his side???s below-par performance, the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker insisted Atletico were itching to set the record straight by getting back to winning ways.

“I think that our performance level against Valencia dropped in the second half,??? Torres added.

???We’re aware of that and can resolve it going forward.???