Stamford Bridge was a far happier place than it has been in a while on Saturday, even though the 1-0 victory over Sunderland was far from convincing.
One of those who were smiling broadest was Fernando Torres, who had a game that showed glimpses of the devastating force he was while at his best for Liverpool.
The Spaniard did not manage to get on the score sheet but troubled Simon Mignolet’s goal on a number of occasions.
In the past 12 months since his move from Anfield, Torres has been criticised for a lack of pace, finishing and an all-round listlessness – criticism that led to crushingly low confidence.
It now looks as though the only thing standing in the way of a goal for ‘El Nino’ is the famous Lady Luck.
She most certainly was not shining on him on Saturday when his spectacular acrobatic volley crashed against the bar and rebounded in off of the partially unaware Frank Lampard.
A good turn and shot from the edge of the area fizzed just past the post and, worst of all, he was booked for diving after colliding with Phil Bardsley in the Sunderland penalty area.
While getting his name on the score sheet has become something of a problem for Torres – he hasn’t scored since the win over Swansea in September – he has been laying on the glory for his team-mates.
The former Atletico Madrid captain has now been involved in providing goals on 11 occasions.
Confidence appears to be creeping back into his game and Chelsea’s season could be transformed by an in-form Torres – they have been crying out for a dominant centre forward for some time.
Didier Drogba was playing reasonably well before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations, but nothing like his best.
There were worries that Torres’ form coupled with Drogba’s absence would put Chelsea in trouble for January and February.
It could turn out to have the opposite effect and the Spain international knowing he will have a run of consecutive games in the team will help him to relax and regain some rhythm.
If Torres can maintain this form then a first goal in over three months will be just around the corner.
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