Fernando Torres roared back to form in an intriguing encounter between championship rivals; Chelsea & Manchester City. Torres looked back to his old Liverpool best, which saw Chelsea shell out a British transfer record fee of £50 million for the enigmatic Spaniard. However, this game summed up Torres almost three years wearing the blue of Chelsea; disappointment followed by brilliance. Half way through the first half, Torres missed a guilt edged chance to put Chelsea ahead after beating the offside trap but blared the half-volley over Joe Hart’s goal and into the Chelsea stands.
A familiar feeling for Fernando. Standing with his head in his hands with utter disbelief that he hadn’t put his team ahead in the game dubbed “El Cashico”. At that moment over the last three years, Fernando Torres would have toddled along the rest of the game with failed headers, failed chances and poor possession. However not today. Torres picked himself up, dusted himself down and went to war. The old but new Torres was here. Gael Clichy went up the other end and gave Manchester City a chance to score with a fantastic ball into the box, however this undone him soon after. Torres took on Clichy and outpaced him – similar to how he outpaced Tal Ben Haim on his Anfield debut six years ago, and placed a lovely ball into the six yard for Andre Schurrle to tap in. Schurrle took the applause but it was all Torres. He could have been forgiven for dwelling on his miss but this was the new Torres.
Torres saw this as a starting point. He was rampant for the blues and ready to roar. He then crashed a wonderful effort against bar which would have rivalled any goal this season for goal of the year. Chelsea then went in at half time leading after a wonderful first half for Torres.
The second half came, and his old Atletico team mate; Sergio Aguero took advantage of poor position from Petr Cech when he crashed the ball high into the near post which saw City equalise. City got more into the game however, Torres was still working hard, chasing every ball, looking for any reward.
That reward came late in the dying embers of the game. Still chasing, looking hungry Torres capitalised on a horrible defending mistake between Joe Hart and Matija Nastasic. The England no.1, came rushing out as Torres nipped in and fired into an empty net to send the blues into ecstasy. Stamford Bridge erupted and the reward for Torres was not just the goal but the adulation of the fans who at some point had lost faith with the Spaniard. Finally, in the blue of Chelsea – a goal in a big game against a big team. This is what Roman paid for.
He has had a horrible few years wearing the blue of Chelsea after swapping London from the Kop where he was loved. He has saw his international career called into question and even saw many managers come and go who could not get the best out of him.
With the arrival of Jose Mourinho back at Stamford Bridge, Torres looks leaner, fitter and hungry. Ready for the challenge. Two goals against Schalke in the Champions League and then a wonderful performance against Manchester City has seen Torres fire back to Chelsea’s no.1 striker.
Still a long way to go for Chelsea and Torres, however many neutrals will be glad he is very close to getting back to his best.