English Premiership

Chelsea owner's faith pays off

2012-04-29 18:46
Fernando Torres (AFP)

London - It was hard to tell who was happier at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Chelsea striker Fernando Torres revelling in his hat-trick or owner Roman Abramovich sporting a smile wider than the gulf in class between his side and hapless Queens Park Rangers.

Torres blew kisses and saluted the crowd after his second and third goals in the 6-1 Premier League rout and tucked away high up in the stand, unshaven Russian oligarch Abramovich was just as enigmatic.

Abramovich, like Torres, has spent much of the season with a furrowed brow with poor form and player unrest leading to the dismissal of coach Andre Villas-Boas in early March.

That sombre expression appears to have long gone. He greeted Torres's hat-trick with vigorous high-fives, ending a week in which the billionaire owner can look forward to a Champions League final, an FA Cup final and the remainder of a Premier League season in which his side are still chasing a top four finish.

A free-scoring Torres can only have enhanced his mood.

While Abramovich must ponder whether to appoint Italian Roberto Di Matteo as coach on a permanent basis after inspiring a revival since the sacking of Villas-Boas, he can finally relax about his expensive Spanish striker.

Torres has misfired at Chelsea since he moved for a British record transfer fee of £50m from Liverpool in January last year, but appears to have regained the form that made him one of the most feared and clinical frontmen in Europe.

"It's a different feeling to what I had," Torres told Sky Sports after his hat-trick, which followed his goal in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona on Tuesday.

"In the past I was feeling very good, my fitness was very sharp and I was playing very well but I couldn't score.

"But now, to be honest, I feel I'm not playing as good as before but I'm scoring goals which is the most important thing for strikers."

Torres, 28, has struggled for goals ever since leaving Liverpool.

It took him until late April last season to get off the mark and before Sunday he only had eight to his name this season, with just three of those in the Premier League.

Finding himself often among the substitutes, as he had under Carlo Ancelotti and then Villas-Boas, is now likely to be a thing of the past under Di Matteo.

Torres said Chelsea had hit top form at just the right time.

"We knew we needed to finish in the top four and win all the games for rest of the season," he said.

"I am very happy with three (goals), hopefully the first of many, but the more important thing for me is the team looks like they are playing their best football of the season with important games to come."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

28 November 2015
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 17:00
Sunderland v Stoke City, Stadium of Light 17:00
Aston Villa v Watford, Villa Park 17:00
Bournemouth v Everton, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Manchester United, King Power Stadium 19:30
29 November 2015
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea, White Hart Lane 14:00
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion, Boleyn Ground 16:05
Liverpool v Swansea City, Anfield 18:15
Norwich City v Arsenal, Carrow Road 18:15
05 December 2015
Stoke City v Manchester City, Britannia Stadium 14:45
Arsenal v Sunderland, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Swansea City v Leicester City, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v West Ham United, Old Trafford 17:00
Southampton v Aston Villa, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur, The Hawthorns 17:00
Watford v Norwich City, Vicarage Road 17:00
Chelsea v Bournemouth, Stamford Bridge 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

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.