Poor Fernando Torres. The £50million man has finally ended his Chelsea goal drought with two goals in as many games, but his goalscoring exploits were overshadowed for the second match running after he was sent off against Barclays Premier League new boys Swansea City, in Saturday's 4-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.
Last week the Spaniard found the net against Manchester United with a clinical finish at the start of the second half, but then conspired to produce the miss of the season.
He looked to have bounced back from that by proving he still has his predatory instincts with a neat turn and shot to open the scoring for the Blues against the Swans, only to blot his copybook again with a horrible two-footed lunge at Mark Gower that earned him a red card before the interval.
The once talismanic striker has been on quite a journey since his January move from Merseyside to west London - with his most recent story line turning him from zero to hero, and back to zero again, in the space of just 40 or so minutes.
In a GMF poll, fans voted on whether or not they believed Torres deserved the dismissal, and the general consensus is that referee Mike Dean made the correct decision, despite the minimal contact made. Of the 3000 fans, a whopping 81 per cent said he deserved to see red.
Torres will now face a three-match ban, but speaking to Chelsea TV, he insisted that there was no intention to injure the player, and that the tackle was an innocent mistake.
"Obviously, I didn't want to do anything bad against the other player," he 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.
"It is the first time I have received a red card in the Premier League and I hope it is the last one. It was really disappointing especially because the team had to play with 10 men for a long time."
However, Blues boss Andre Villas Boas played down the incident, summing it up as 'one of those things', that Torres will pay for through his suspension, and that that is the end of the matter.
"There's nothing for Fernando to apologise for. It's the referee's decision. It was a good decision," he said. "It's part of the nature of the game and the referee has decided on that.
"It's a pity because the spectacle was promising. But even with 10 men, we never lost our will to continue to attack and I think it paid off."
In light of the fans' condemnation, Torres received further backing from an unlikely source, in the form of opposing manager and former Chelsea coach Brendan Rodgers - who reflected sympathetically on the incident.
"I don't think he [Torres] is a malicious player," he confirmed. "It's one where the ball's just got away from Gower.
"He probably feels it's there to be won and he's trying to show his intention at the moment that he's fighting for everything."
It's clear that Torres is scoring goals again, and beginning to rediscover his form. He is moving with greater freedom and awareness following the arrival of fellow Spaniards Juan Mata, a playmaker of the highest calibre, and Raul Meireles, who both look to have liberated him.
Perhaps he now feels that, at last, he is among friends, and has in Villas-Boas, a manager who understands how to get the best out of him. But further proof of that will now be put back until after he returns from suspension.
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