A striker doesn’t truly begin his season before he scores his first league goal, and it took Fernando Torres more than two months to get his. Luckily, it turned out to be a 90th minute winner in the biggest match of the season so far for Chelsea.
The picture is getting clearer and clearer for us to understand the Jose Mourinho plan for this season. There was no exciting football from his team as they beat Manchester City 2-1 and created some vital separation between them and their presumed biggest rivals for the league title, but at least he seems to have formed his preferred starting XI for the time being.
Chelsea couldn’t have gotten more of a present in the form of a defensive unit Manchester City have never played with before. It ended up being the deciding factor in the match, as Matija Nastastic and Joe Hart partnered up for a comical mistake, allowing Fernando Torres to score the 90th minute winner, and proclaim once more his redemption as a striker for the club that’s paid so much for him has begun.
Torres wasn’t just the scorer of the winning goal – he was Chelsea’s best player. He rattled the crossbar, and missed a huge opportunity in the first half that would have been remembered for quite a while if it wasn’t for his redeeming goal to end the match. He now has five goals in 11 matches this season when it comes to all competitions, a much better number than we’re used to seeing from him. In the end, it might be Jose Mourinho that find a way to bring out the best of his Spanish striker.
Chelsea have worrying issues besides their clinical finish, even though that results, more than style, matter most to his manager and should to anyone as this team is still coming together. Manchester City were the better side for most of the match, especially thanks to their superior midfield. However, Chelsea defended well enough and made the right change by finally taking off Frank Lampard and putting in Obi Mikel to bring their breaking walls a bit further up the field, as City slowly lost form and composure.
Andre Schurrle needed time before Mourinho decided that playing with a wide player in his creative trio isn’t such a bad option. Schurrle isn’t a striker, but he’s a bit more attacking than your usual wide forward. Making more use of him should only benefit Chelsea, as it cancels out the chances of players overstepping their boundaries, which is the reason Willian and Juan Mata both started on the bench, as Mata drifts further and further away from ever becoming a staple name in the Chelsea lineup in this era.
I was unlucky to miss the chance that I missed in the first half. I thought I was offside. I should have stayed more calm. I missed the chance but then in the next action I got the assist for Andre and then I hit the post. I’m really happy for the team and my performance. The team is showing it is improving and that is very positive.