Chelsea 6-1 Nordsjaelland: Will Torres' Good Form Continue?
Look, no cliched phrases or inspirational spiels are going to soften the blow of Chelsea's elimination from the Champions League.
The Blues became the first club in the history of the competition (yes, that's not a huge sampling but still) to go out in the group stages as defending champions.
To make matters worse, the side hasn't exactly been lighting it up in the Premier League as of late. Four points in seven matches (under two different managers, mind you) have seen them fall from comfortable leaders to third place on goal differential.
Add in the way Chelsea's supporters have reacted to new manager Rafa Benitez (venomous is a word that springs to mind) and you can see that these are not the best of times at Stamford Bridge.
Every cloud has a silver lining, right?
That silver lining may have made itself clear in Wednesday's match with Nordsjaelland.
In the midst of the Blues' 6-1 rout over the Danish champions, one performance stood out above the rest: that of beleaguered striker Fernando Torres.
Torres was a key spark for Chelsea as they raced to their first victory of the Benitez era, the Spaniard scoring a brace that he well earned.
So, just as we have done after every good performance from Torres over the past two years, we must ask the question: Can Torres build off of this performance and recapture the form that once had him as one of the most feared strikers in the game?
On the one hand, it's hard to look past "El Nino's" strike record in his time at Stamford Bridge, as he has scored at a rate of less than a goal every four matches.
However, optimists may point to the new man at the reins of Chelsea as reasons to believe a turnaround is coming.
At Liverpool, Benitez managed Torres through the most successful period of the striker's career, enabling him to score at a rate better than a goal every other match.
In Wednesday's Champions League duel with Nordsjaelland, in just the manager's fourth match at Chelsea, Torres looked much steadier in his play, providing numerous threats on the opposition goal and even defending well.
After fortune favored him on the first goal, the Spaniard seemed much more confident than in recent memory, making a darting run between the keeper and a defender to slot home the second.
Can Torres keep up his good form?
Now, let's not get too carried away with this performance. After all, the opposition weren't exactly world-beaters.
Still, Torres' upcoming performances should be something to watch out for over the next few matches.
Who knows, maybe this is the start of something special. Maybe we are witnessing the re-birth of the old El Nino.
With the way things are going at the Bridge right now, that would certainly be a welcome sight.
I mean, it's always darkest before the dawn, right?
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