Fernando Torres struck twice in an impressive away win last night – the sign, he says, of an improving side.

The Spaniard celebrated his 100th Chelsea start with a goal in either half, opening the scoring with a close-range header and rattling the woodwork with another before converting a decisive second goal thanks to a swift Oscar breakaway, with Eden Hazard adding a late third for the Blues agains ta Schalke side that had seen much of the ball and exerted plenty of pressure.

‘It wasn’t easy. Sometimes the result doesn’t reflect the reality,’ Torres said afterwards. ‘We still have to improve. The first half was 50/50 and we were lucky to score the first goal early.

‘They had their chances but in the second half our individual quality made the difference. We got a couple of counter-attacks and could score two more goals to close the game.’

Successive Champions League away wins have put us top of Group E despite losing our first game against Basel. We entertain Schalke at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight.

‘After a bad start we have had the last six points away and that’s very important for us,’ Torres said. ‘We have to play Schalke again at home and we’re not in a bad position now.

‘As a team we are feeling much better after the pre-season and we are improving. Individually it is the same, the last few games I feel very sharp, very well.

‘It’s a young squad, with young players, a new manager and it takes time to settle. We are still improving but hopefully we can see the best Chelsea from now until the end of the season.

‘We have three very good strikers and hopefully all of us can score goals. When I play I hope to score goals and when Samuel and Demba play they have to score as well, so this competition is very healthy.’

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