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."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

EPL: Transfer watch

2014-07-29 00:00

 

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
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • Blitz
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS5
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
    05:59
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
16 August 2014
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 13:45
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Everton, King Power Stadium 16:00
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City, Loftus Road Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 18:30
17 August 2014
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 14:30
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 17:00
18 August 2014
Burnley v Chelsea, Turf Moor 21:00
Vote

How will Manchester United fare in next season's English Premiership under Louis van Gaal?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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