Fernando Torres has thanked Chelsea's fans for refusing to turn on him after the £50 million man's Stamford Bridge career hit a new low.

Saturday saw Torres experience the ultimate highs and lows for the second successive weekend after he got himself sent off for an ugly lunge on Swansea's Mark Gower. The striker had just scored his third Chelsea goal and played a part in Ramires' second in a 4-1 victory.

He told Chelsea TV: "Obviously, when you are doing great, scoring goals from the first day and doing good performances, it's easy for the fans to love and support you. But the first six months for me at Chelsea have been very, very difficult and I have been struggling, and I have always had the support of the fans."

Torres' dismissal came after he missed an open goal after netting in the defeat at Manchester United six days earlier.

Those are merely the latest calamities to befall the club's record signing since his January move from Liverpool, with the 27-year-old taking an incredible 13 games to break his duck, as well as being quizzed by manager Andre Villas-Boas about an interview which - once translated by his own website - contained criticism of his team-mates.

The striker, who faces a three-match ban, had never been sent off in English football, and although he insisted he did not mean to hurt Gower on Saturday, he confessed to catching the Swansea midfielder.

"Obviously, I didn't want to do anything bad against the other player," Torres said.

"I tried to take away my legs, but I arrived late to the ball and I kicked him a little bit. It's a pity and I'm really disappointed for that."

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