Just over nine months after he scored the first goal of Chelsea’s season, Fernando Torres fired in the final one too.
The Community Shield match against Manchester City was the occasion of his initial strike and goal no. 22 beat Everton to complete a good week for the club and for the forward, who also found the net in the Europa League final.
Following the last-day win, Torres spoke about a good basis now in place for the team to improve next season.
‘We deserved to finish in the top three,’ he said. ‘It was not the target in the beginning of the season but it was the main target in the last couple of months, so we are happy to secure third place and we know now we are going to play Champions League again next season.
‘We have to learn from what we did badly in this season because everyone wants to play to the end of the Champions League like we did last season, so this is the first step.
‘It was a great week for the club, the players, the supporters, everyone -and we achieved the two targets we have been fighting for the last couple of months so we can go on holidays with that job done.
‘It has been a very good end of the season for me as well,’ he added. ‘I am feeling much better, I am playing more than before so I am happy.
‘Sometimes just the confidence changes when you are feeling you are part of the team, when you are playing more often and playing the important games and the goals come. It makes everything easier and I am really looking forward to next season.’
Torres’s strike past Tim Howard was his first Premier League goal since December.
‘In the last couple of months I was not really involved in the Premier League, I was playing more in Europe and in the cups,’ he points out. ‘It was a long time with not scoring but with the goal on Sunday I forget about that and think about next season.
‘Scoring 22 goals is not bad and everyone is asking for the strikers to score goals. It is much better than last season but hopefully next season it can be even better.’
Torres is pleased Rafael Benitez leaves Chelsea having won a European trophy and guided the side into the Champions League again, and spoke about the Spaniard’s input.
‘He helped to give the team confidence back after a difficult period in November. Especially in the last couple of months the team has shown more character and as a team we have performed much better than in the beginning of the season when maybe individuality was the key for us. It is something to build up from and I think everyone wishes him all the best now.
‘The only thing he wanted was to do his best and to try to help Chelsea to come back from a difficult situation, and credit to the players as well because it is not easy to play so many games in a season.
‘We needed to prove to ourselves we are good enough to finish in the top three. We know we have to improve in the Premier League next season and try to fight for the trophy, not thinking about if we can qualify [for the Champions League] or not – but this the first step and it is giving us a bit more confidence.’
– A clip of Fernando Torres talking to Chelsea TV after the game can be viewed above with the full interview available now via the channel’s online access, or in ‘Weekend Review’ on Monday evening on Sky Digital channel 421.