Soccer

Torres scores as Chelsea win

2011-07-30 17:43
Fernando Torres (AP)

Hong Kong - Record signing Fernando Torres scored his second goal for Chelsea straight after coming on as a second-half substitute on Saturday as his side beat Aston Villa to win the Barclays Asia Trophy.

It was a game of fast starts for Andre Villas-Boas' men, with teenager Josh McEachran scoring in the first minute of a 2-0 victory on a steamy night in Hong Kong.

The victory means Chelsea end their Asian tour under their new manager with four wins from four and 11 goals scored to none conceded.

The stadium announcer was still reporting that Torres had come on the pitch in the 57th minute when Florent Malouda slipped as he took a long-range shot, allowing the Spaniard to race onto the ball and deftly redirect it past Shay Given.

McEachran was on target as the capacity crowd in the 40 000-seater Hong Kong Stadium were still settling down from their pre-match Mexican wave.

The Oxford-born 18-year-old thumped a shot into the roof of the net after beating Given to the ball when the Irish stopper only managed to parry a Malouda drive.

Villas-Boas is looking to rejuvenate his ageing squad and has suggested McEachran could be one of a couple of youth prospects who could jump straight into the first team.

McEachran started three of four matches in Asia, on a trip that saw Chelsea build on a disappointing 1-0 victory in Malaysia with successive 4-0 victories over a Thai select team and Hong Kong champions Kitchee.

Villa, who finished ninth in the Premier League last season, proved a tougher test, but Villas-Boas still decided to test Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge as a pairing up front, leaving Didier Drogba and Torres on the bench until mid-way through the second half.

The change paid immediate dividends, as Torres seeks to rediscover a scoring touch that has deserted him since his 50 million move from Liverpool.

Villa are also under new management after Alex McLeish's contentious cross-town move from Birmingham City.

Given, his first signing, redeemed himself for the shock start by punching away a free kick from Frank Lampard and cradling a dangerous shot from Anelka.

Ireland's most capped international was crucial in keeping the score down in the second half, parrying away a Yury Zhirkov shot and a point-blank header from Lampard.

Blackburn coasted to a 3-0 victory over Hong Kong champions Kitchee in the early game on Saturday, giving them third place in the pre-season tournament, which the Premier League holds in a different Asian city every two years.

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