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Three and a half years, and it never looked comfortable for either party.
Today, at the Cardiff City Stadium, is where is most probably ended—with Fernando Torres' final appearance, and goal, for Chelsea.
The Spaniard controlled the ball well, took a step and slotted it home.
Then he turned, refused to celebrate and rebuffed the adulation of teammates.
It looked like the actions of a man who knew the end had arrived.
There were no bad feelings, as at full time he went to show his appreciation to the visiting fans—who have largely stuck by him through thick and (very) thin.
But a five-goal-a-season striker—that was his final Premier League tally—is not what Chelsea need. And he looks certain to head for pastures new this summer.