Fernando Torres Highlights Chelsea Frustration with Red Card Display at Spurs
Fernando Torres can count himself lucky to have stayed on the pitch for 80 minutes at White Hart Lane Saturday.
Although an innocuous clash with Jan Vertonghen produced his second yellow card with 10 minutes to go, the Spanish forward should have received a straight red for manhandling the same player’s face at the beginning of the second half.
The former Liverpool man, who netted in Chelsea’s 2-0 midweek win over Swindon Town, performed with the attitude of a spoilt child after seeing his team go 1-0 down. Torres argued, smirked and ultimately forced the plug into a bath that was always going to be run early.
After such an effective performance in the Capital One Cup, this kind of display highlights the frustration Torres is continuing to suffer at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho rewarded the 29-year-old with a start against Spurs. Although the Portuguese manager selected Samuel Eto’o for the Blues’ recent away loss to Everton, and set up without a recognised striker in the draw with Manchester United, it was Torres who took the onus against Andre Villas-Boas’ impressive side.
Ninety minutes later, Torres was already on the bus home as Chelsea’s winless Premier League away streak remained intact.
Aside from the constant bickering with Vertonghen, Torres’ display promised much. He looked to spread Spurs’ bombing defence with runs down the flank, and for the most part, he did that effectively. His movement was sharp, and he certainly wanted to receive the ball to his feet, but once it got there, he could do nothing with it.
Taking the ball over his shoulder, it was no surprise when Torres stumbled possession straight into the hands of Hugo Lloris just before half-time. When Juan Mata came on after the break, Torres appeared to be everywhere apart from in Spurs’ area.
Picking up the ball out wide and launching it toward Mata in the middle, Mourinho really should have switched the two round. While Torres’ ventures down the flank initially aided Chelsea’s counter-attacks, his ability to see the ball trickle away sums up an individual who now faces a spell on the sidelines.
As reported by Whoscored, Torres’ pass completion rate of 77 percent is hardly inspiring. He managed just one shot at goal, gave the ball away four times and was caught offside on three occasions. To top it off, his decision to hit the deck after a light tussle had his manager pulling glum faces on the bench.
Mourinho gave Torres the chance and he simply didn’t deliver. The former Real Madrid coach must now turn to Eto’o, who is yet to score in English football, and the unfavoured Demba Ba. Premier League fixtures against Norwich, Cardiff and Manchester City await, ensuring one of these forwards must find their scoring boots soon.
With every passing moment, the decision to let Romelu Lukaku take up a season-long residency at Goodison Park is looking more and more costly. Both Mourinho's insistence on rotating his lone strikers and Torres' ability to cut his playing time short ensures this will be another campaign to forget for the World Cup-winning forward.
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