Sunderland vs. Chelsea: 5 Things We Learned
If there was any team that the Blues needed to face right now, it was Sunderland. Now sitting in the relegation zone, the Black Cats are in desperate need of a win and they were Chelsea's for the taking.
Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez secured his first league win. He will still have a lot of work to do before he wins over the majority of the Chelsea fans, but this is definitely the right start.
Here are five things that Saturday's win taught us.
Fernando Torres Still Knows How to Score
His 11th-minute volley was Fernando Torres' first goal in over 12 hours of Premier League football. He soon scored his second from the penalty spot.
Although talk of a comeback may be slightly premature, it speaks volumes that the striker was confident enough to step up and take the penalty—his first in the Premier League no less.
What we learned from this performance is that Fernando Torres can at least remember how to score goals.
And from the look of that volley, he still knows how to score them well.
The Nordsjaelland Victory Was Important
Although it was not enough to keep them in the Champions League, Chelsea's victory over Nordsjaelland seems to have kickstarted the team before their trip to the Club World Cup.
Torres followed up his goals at Stamford Bridge with another brace against Sunderland, and you have to think that perhaps the emphatic midweek victory played a part in the confidence that Chelsea showed Saturday.
Frank Lampard Is Back
He may have only played for 10 minutes, but few sights were greater than the one of Frank Lampard on the pitch in Chelsea blue once more.
During the past month's run of poor form, it became more and more apparent that the Blues missed his skill and leadership.
Frank Lampard provides a solid head and a welcome face in midfield, just in time for Jon Obi Mikel's suspension and Oriel Romeu's knee injury.
Benitez Can Do the Job
Rafael Benitez is still a long way from becoming a fan favorite at Stamford Bridge.
However the win did show us that he can get the job done.
It was another solid defensive performance, and the only goal conceded was borne of skill rather than defensive error.
He managed to arrange the formation in such a way that it created more chances for Fernando Torres, and the team managed three goals and a win.
A long-term solution? Perhaps not. A capable interim manager? Perhaps.
Chelsea Can Still Win the League
Last week it was not looking promising.
Some major changes were needed before this match, and a win was necessary in order to keep any hope of winning the league.
There is still a lot of work to be done if Chelsea are to turn themselves back into realistic title contenders, but this is definitely a start.
They will fly to Japan now for the Club World Cup, hoping to add that trophy to their cabinet and start back on the path toward a Premier League title.