The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Schalke were well beaten here, wounded by neatly taken goals from Fernando Torres, a striker revived as he revels under new management, and denied the last vestiges of hope by a late third from Eden Hazard. Chelsea cut the locals to pieces every time they sprang at them at pace and José Mourinho took as much satisfaction in keeping the first clean sheet by a visiting side here in this competition in 11 matches. There was strength as well as bite to a display that has thrust the Londoners to the top of the group.”
The Daily Telegraph, Jason Burt: “Jose Mourinho laid a ghost to rest. And Fernando Torres no longer looked a shadow of his former self. Torres scored twice — on his 100th start for Chelsea — and this was the man for whom Roman Abramovich paid £50 million, the man Sir Alex Ferguson said had “borderline Machiavellian” cunning, rather than the pale version of one of Europe’s most lethal strikers.”
The Independent, Simon Johnson: “Despite Torres being something of an enigma since he joined Chelsea for a British record £50m from Liverpool in 2011, something certainly seems to happen to him the moment he gets on a plane to participate on the continent. The Spaniard’s nerves evaporate and the prolific marksmen returns. There was nothing special about his strike which put Chelsea in front inside five minutes, calmly steering the ball in at the far post after Branislav Ivanovic flicked on Frank Lampard’s corner at the near post. What was so extraordinary is that he now boasts a remarkable record of scoring seven goals in his last eight European games for Chelsea.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “A 3-0 win in Schalke, secured courtesy of a Fernando Torres brace and a late Eden Hazard strike, saw the Blues move into top spot in Group E and record a fourth successive victory. The evening had started well, with Torres heading us in front inside the opening four minutes, but for the latter part of the first half it was Schalke looking the more threatening of the two sides. Torres, though, making his 100th start for the club, extended our advantage in the 68th minute when he finished from close-range following excellent build-up play between Hazard and Oscar. The Belgian, after scoring twice against Cardiff at the weekend, produced a wonderful individual display, and he got the goal his performance had merited in the closing minutes when he raced clear before finishing excellently. It’s now seven games unbeaten for Jose Mourinho’s men, with 19 goals scored in the process, and we head into Sunday’s Premier League game against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in great shape.”
5′ Torres 0-1
69′ Torres 0-2
87′ Hazard 0-3
“Fernando and Eden played a very good game, but I think everything started with the way we defended. My goalkeeper, my four defenders, Ramires and Lampard, they gave us fantastic stability, because we know the way Schalke play here and we knew that stability would give us the chance to be stable and to try to keep a clean sheet, but at the same time to recover the ball and find conditions to use the spaces that they normally give.
“So the game was very good for us, we had a difficult period in the first half, which a team normally has, and in that period, the last 10-15 minutes of the first half, they were really dominant. After that we were very compact and solid, we were always dangerous and I think my team deserved the points.” More…
One of our most impressive displays away from home in Europe in a long time.
Sad sight of the night watching Joe Cole stumbling his way through the pundit role on ITV’s highlights show, convinced Ivanovic had played at left back – almost made Shearer’s efforts on MOTD look articulate in comparison 🙁
I’m going to be provocative here…. how about some praise for our reject (not mine I kept the faith)
I am not sure what has changed from the last season, Clive? He had scored plenty of goals to Europa League minnows and almost nothing in PL, so far the situation is exactly the same. While I am happy to acknowledge his contribution in Shalke game I think it not yet time for praise.
Very pleasing performance and result, and with two home games left all looks reasonably good in Europe. Interesting to note that for all the talk of their early season form, Arsenal now have to get something from away games in Dortmund and Napoli which won’t be easy.
Torres – agree with Blue Mikel that it’s probably not time to get too excited just yet, but he was excellent and Tuesday and well worthy of praise. Jose’s arm around him has probably helped – the main question I always ask is whether you’d feel confident with him starting up front in big games (City on Sunday, for example).
It’s still a no from me, but perhaps not quite as unequivocal as it used to be. Here’s hoping he keeps up the good work.
I’m starting to come round to Torres, I certainly think he is by far the best option we have. He actually seems to look for the ball now, which is a considerable improvement. We don’t necessarily need a goalscoring forward (although it would be nice) but we do need one smart and mobile enough to make space for the three behind – Torres for me is the best at doing that. He’d easily be my pick for Sunday, I don’t see how the other two come close to deserving a place ahead of him if Mourinho continues to pick on merit (which he genuinely seems to be doing).
Bigger question is whether to go for Luiz or Cahill. I like Luiz and some of the stick he gets is over the top, but he does give me the jitters. Is it better to have Luiz, world class with one or two major errors in his locker, or Cahill, who is more reliable and consistent but basically nowhere near as good.
That aside, we are certainly starting to tick along nicely now Hazard has warmed up (and he and Oscar really are a pair of stunning footballers).
Another tough game on Sunday and I still think the title is between us and City. Amazing how easy Arsenal’s run has been so far – interesting to see whether it builds their confidence for the tougher matches they’re going to face or is setting them up for a fall.
Oh, he’s definitely first choice – I suppose it’s just the number of false dawns that leaves me expecting another dip, especially against tougher opposition. Let’s hope not, though, as he’s applied himself really well of late.
Eto’o did well against Cardiff and their parked bus in terms of the way he worked their back line.
Luiz edges it, for me – I think he tends to concentrate better for bigger games. We’ve only conceded 3 goals since the Basel loss, and without looking I believe that we’ve played a few different combinations at the back since then, so it suggests that while the opposition perhaps hasn’t always been top notch, the system and the players seem to be working pretty well.
All looking quite promising, overall – just wondering how we’re going to conspire to balls it all up now…!
My observations on Torres is that he appeared to be improving towards the latter end of last season, and has continued it into the new season. He did score 22 goals regardless of the opposition, and some were big goals the Europa Cup final and the opening goal against Everton which helped us secure third and CL qualification, not forgetting the cracker against Bayern.
Whatever Jose is doing lets hope he continues, and I’m with Pete on how Torres contributes with his movement and passing, and if he scores 20 plus goals again then he deserves his place in the side.
Amen to that! I would be happy to eat my humble pie, but I still want to see him scoring in EPL.
Torres has improved enough so that I wouldn’t mind him getting the start on Sunday. The only potential problem for me is that I think City is at their dirtiest when their opponent is attacking on the break. They tend to take out the guy that just passed the ball so that the person who receives it has one less option following. They often don’t get caught because the it happens just after the ref has looked ahead to where the ball is. If Torres is one of the guys taken out, will he do something stupid to retaliate and pick up a yellow or red? If he can’t be relied on to keep his head about him, then I’d go with Samuel.
Long way to go yet…. but I’ve applied for a business loan to set up my online shop selling ‘umble pie. Hopefully I’ll be doing very brisk trade from fellow bloggers. 😉
But seriously the signs are looking good, whatever magic dust Jose is sprinkling on Fernando, he needs to share some on Mata next.
Hi Clive I will be first one in queue by the end of the season to get a pint for you and humble from you. However, as you said it is a long way to go.
Massive three points and great win. We were better in the first half and should have killed the game, if Fernando and Cahill could connect better to a ball. The second half was rather strange from both teams, but as I said massive three points.
Can somebody explain how is that a problem for opposition, if manager, in this case Jose, celebrates win with supporters? WTF!? What Pellegrini is bitching about? Seriously is it some sort of unwritten code I am not aware of?