It was goals galore at the Stadium of Light as 17th placed Sunderland welcomed an underperforming Chelsea side. Chelsea had not won a match in last eight premier league outings and interim boss Rafael Benitez was keen to get the side back on track. The visitors took the lead early through Fernando Torres, and managed to double it before half time from the same scorer.
The Blues inflicted further misery when Juan Mata added another just after the break. When everyone thought that was enough to put the game to bed, the home side pulled one back through Adam Johnson’s stunning effort. Incessant attack followed from the Black Cats with the home fans baying for blood but Chelsea managed to hold on to the lead till the end.
However, the major talking point of the day was the return to form of Fernando Torres. The Spaniard was involved in all the three goals today. Rafael Benitez promised that he will bring the best out of Torres, and it seems the former Liverpool striker is slowly getting back to his old self. Or is it just another false hope?
Weekly viewers of the Premier League will know that Torres hasn’t been the same player anymore. Despite getting few early goals, he was no longer the same threat for the opposition teams. However under Rafa he is just starting to look better. That frightening pace is not there. He rarely tries to take on the last defender these days. The man, who was once treated as scourge of top defenders of the world, has himself become an enigma for his managers. But, the signs are there. The manner in which he took the first goal today clearly shows that he still has that ‘class’ in him.
Chelsea are constantly linked with a move for a top striker in the January transfer window and according to some reports the Russian owner is finally giving up hopes on him. The £50m price tag on his shoulder has always served as great burden for him. But will be deliver this time?
Against Nordsjaelland in the Champions League tie in the midweek, he was on target twice. The signs were there – he was coming back to form. Today, he ended up with another strong performance. But, are we still now in a position to say that Torres of Old is back?