In his 100th start for Chelsea, Fernando Torres was the name being mentioned by fans all across Europe after his side took down Schalke, 3-0, at the Veltins Arena in a UEFA Champions League Group E match.
Torres, who has been often criticized for his lack of goal scoring since his move from Liverpool in 2011, converted two tap-ins to vault Chelsea atop Group E.
The Spanish forward got on the board just five minutes into the match as he headed home his 38th career goal for the London club past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand.
Torres was able to flick his header past Hildebrand because of a brilliant headed assist by Branislav Ivanovic from Chelsea's second corner kick.
It would take 63 minutes until Torres was celebrating with his teammates once more as he finished off a three-on-one counter attack that was mainly powered by Oscar.
By scoring his second goal, Torres equaled his goal total in the competition from when he was a player at Liverpool:
Fernando Torres has 8 goals in 22 UCL games with Chelsea. He had 8 goals in 21 UCL games with Liverpool.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) October 22, 2013
Oscar was able to fend off Schalke's United States international Jermaine Jones on his way to the penalty area before dumping the ball off to the feet of Torres, who coolly slotted home the insurance goal for the Blues.
Chelsea scored once more in the 87th minute by way of Eden Hazard, who scored just seconds before he was substituted for Samuel Eto'o.
While the scoreline shows that Chelsea were the victors on Tuesday night, it was Schalke who held the majority of the possession during the 90 minutes on their home pitch.
Claustrophobic, clinical and occasionally clumsy night for Chelsea. But just waited for Schalke to give them chances once they had the lead.— Sam Matterface (@sammatterface) October 22, 2013
The best spell of pressure put on the Chelsea net from the hosts came late in the first half as they forced Petr Cech into making two crucial saves.
Kevin-Prince Boateng and Roman Neustaedter made the Chelsea keeper earn his paycheck as Cech made his two key stops just a minute apart.
After halftime, Schalke continued to pressure the Chelsea back four, but once Torres knocked in the second goal, the spirits of the team and its home fans were deflated.
Key Player Grades
Fernando Torres, Forward, Chelsea: A
Torres did not play at the highest level we have seen him play at, but he did convert on the two Chelsea goals when called upon.
The Spanish playmaker also had a chance to score a third goal in the 51st minute, but his header ended up hitting the post instead of finding the back of the net.
In total, Torres had four shots in the match while recording just 44 touches.
Dennis Aogo, Defender, Schalke: B-
Most of the pressure brought upon the Chelsea back four by Schalke came by way of the two full-backs in Jens Keller's starting 11.
Dennis Aogo, who started at left-back, was a menace moving forward in the first half as Schalke looked to equalize before marching into the dressing room for the first time.
The Hamburg loanee had the most touches of any Schalke player with 101 and had a 94 percent pass accuracy in defeat.
Branislav Ivanovic, Defender, Chelsea: B+
Branislav Ivanovic was the creator of the first Chelsea goal as his headed pass found Torres in front of goal.
While his name might not have been involved much after that, Ivanovic did deliver a quality performance at right-back as all six of his clearances were deemed effective.
The Chelsea defender also had a pass accuracy of 82 percent and he recorded 62 touches in the victory.
Complete Player Grades: Chelsea
|John Obi Mikel||C|
Complete Player Grades: Schalke
Chelsea will host Manchester City on Sunday in the English Premier League while Schalke will welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Veltins Arena in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
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Match statistics obtained from WhoScored.com