No talk about his misses, looking depressed and being an overall huge failure. Fernando Torres came through with flying colors for Chelsea in their Europa League quarterfinal match, scoring twice and proved yet again that all that’s really been missing from his game has been confidence, that seems to grow and shrink in a matter of minutes, all based on the success of his latest action.
After 16 minutes, David Luiz found Torres with a brilliant long pass, that Torres found it difficult to control. Luckily for him, the Rubin keeper reacted slowly to the developing opportunity, and Torres scored a scrappy one. Usually those open floodgates, and on his next touch, Torres attempted a Rabona, forgetting about the mask on his face, or that £50 million price tag that always brings so much weight to his shoulders, his legs and mind.
In the 70th minute, it was a header, giving Chelsea the 3-1 lead and a little bit of cushion before the second leg in Russia, which isn’t coming in perfect timing as Chelsea do have a FA Cup semifinal to win a few days later facing Manchester City. His second goal was one you’d like to see from a striker – confident, untouched, unscathed in the air, right before he scores a goal. When Torres is feeling confident, it doesn’t really matter if he’s playing next to Eden Hazard, Victor Moses or Juan Mata.
Rafa Benitez is probably happy that he can avoid ‘Why hasn’t Torres scored questions’ for at least a week, until the next drought begins. He can focus on thinking how he’s going to get his rotations straight, looking for more opportunities to give the likes of Yossi Benayoun some playing time while resting Oscar and Hazard without losing too much quality in his lineup.
Teams like Rubin Kazan, considered to be one of the more boring and uninspiring side in the Russian league, don’t come to away matches in order to put on a show. Just concede as few as possible and maybe snatch a lucky away goal, which they managed, although it still shouldn’t be enough if Chelsea play to their usual ability in the second leg.
Chelsea didn’t play great football, but all that doesn’t matter when Torres gets on the score-sheet twice. It might be a sign of life that will lead him to some special finish to this season, giving Chelsea a title or two while making sure they make it into the Champions League. If the last few seasons are something to learn from, these goals aren’t the beginning of a new, brighter chapter.