Champions League: Why Fernando Torres Has Earned a Starting Spot with Chelsea

Timothy NCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea reacts during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Chelsea FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge on September 13, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The sky is still falling for English media pundits, as Fernando Torres has once again not scored.  That means he must be immediately sold to a team from Siberia and forever banished from true footballing civilization that embraces hard tackles and stats.

For the rest of us, let us actually examine Torres in his start with the Champions League.

Andre Villa-Bolas started a 4-3-3 that showed much more fluidity in play than Chelsea has seen in a very long time (perhaps since the days of Scolari and Deco). Defenders moved well as a unit, and the midfield was active at creating openings.

The forwards, however, will be the talk of the Stamford Bridge faithful as the upcoming clash with Manchester United gives them all a cold sweat when it comes to Premiership dreams.

Although Torres did not score, he did threaten the opposing defense repeatedly and had a goal disallowed in the first half. He combined well with the midfielders and set up chances for the other forwards.

Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata continued to threaten from the wings, while Torres started to look far more comfortable in the centre of attack and distributed the ball either for late runs or out to the wings without allowing for counterattacks to occur.

If any other player threatened the goal and managed two assists it would be considered a good night's work, especially considering the victory and the fact that it is the Champions League.

But for the English media it was terrible, awful, dreadful and we must burn effigies of Fernando Torres all over the world.

Here's to the rest of us who may have actually seen a performance worth a start, and here's hoping Torres does so again for the weekend clash.