Champions League

Torres brace inspires Chelsea

2013-10-22 23:15
Oscar and Fernando Torres (AFP)

Gelsenkirchen - Fernando Torres has marked his 100th start for Chelsea with a brace in a 3-0 win away to Schalke on Tuesday as Jose Mourinho's side safely negotiated a tough test in Champions League Group E.

WRAP: Champions League

Schalke were punished for slack defending as Torres opened the scoring in the fifth minute and, as the hosts pushed forward in search of an equaliser, the Spaniard netted again at the end of a second-half breakaway.

The oft-maligned forward might even have had a hat-trick, but he hit the woodwork with a header and Eden Hazard ignored the chance to pass to the Spaniard when he went through alone to seal the win late on.

Chelsea were deserving winners as they comfortably soaked up everything that Schalke threw at them in Gelsenkirchen, and the London club now find themselves level with Schalke on six points at the top of the group after Basel were held 1-1 away by Steaua Bucharest in the night's other game.

With two home matches still to come, including the return against Schalke on November 6, the 2012 European champions look well-placed to avoid a repeat of last season's group-stage exit.

"I told the players after the Basel match (which Chelsea lost 2-1) that we did garbage and we had to clean it," Mourinho told British Sky Sports television after the game.

"We did it in the best possible way with two wins away and now we are in good conditions to qualify and we can also try to finish first."

Mourinho also had praise for Torres after selecting him ahead of Samuel Eto'o, saying: "He is a hard worker.

"It was a surprise for me because he is not the kind of guy who hides behind the fee Chelsea paid for him.

"He always gives his best and he is a player I trust and respect."

Back at the ground where his Porto side beat Monaco in the 2004 Champions League final, Mourinho made a raft of changes to the team that beat Cardiff City 4-1 at the weekend.

Torres returned to the starting line-up along with German international Andre Schuerrle, while Cesar Azpilicueta was surprisingly selected as a left-back in the absence of Ashley Cole.

Schalke came into the game having lost just once in their last 10 outings - and that against Bayern Munich - but they were unconvincing in Saturday's 3-2 victory at Eintracht Braunschweig and they paid the price for a lack of concentration by falling behind with just five minutes on the clock.

With the Schalke defence sleeping, Branislav Ivanovic headed on a left-wing Frank Lampard corner and Torres popped up at the back post to convert.

Schalke enjoyed much of the possession after that but they did not really come to life until the closing minutes of the half, when Petr Cech fisted a Kevin-Prince Boateng long-ranger over the bar.

From the resulting corner, Cech produced a fine reaction save to keep out Roman Neustaedter's header, and the visitors held their lead into the interval.

It was almost 2-0 six minutes after the restart when Torres rose unmarked 14 yards out to head a Lampard free-kick off the junction of bar and post with 'keeper Timo Hildebrand rooted to the spot.

The closest Schalke came to equalising came when skipper Benedikt Hoewedes headed a good chance wide in the 65th minute, but any hopes they had of obtaining a positive result were ended three minutes later when the Premier League side doubled their lead on the break.

Hazard started the counter-attack with a pass to Oscar, and the Brazilian drove into the box and held off Japanese full-back Atsuto Uchida before squaring for Torres, who kept a cool head to round Hildebrand and score.

With the home side having lost all shape, Hazard ran through to make it 3-0 in the 87th minute, ignoring Torres to finish emphatically into the far corner and seal a fine win on Chelsea's first visit to Germany since the 2012 final triumph in Munich.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.