After three successive games against former employers, Fernando Torres is hoping to maintain the pressure on those teams above us in the league when we take on Norwich today.
Manchester City’s win at Everton yesterday took them top but we will leapfrog both the Citizens and Liverpool with a victory of our own this afternoon. The difference is that those sides will both have an extra game to play in the Premier League but if they do slip up in either, Torres thinks we must be ready to pounce.
‘When it depends on you to win it’s the situation we all want to have: a situation where if you win you are champions,’ the Spaniard tells the official Chelsea website.
‘But also it also brings much more pressure because if you miss that chance you are giving the title away to someone else. We need to use that pressure by winning our games.
‘Man City and Liverpool know they have to win their games, even a draw for them might not be enough. We need to use all the pressure we can by winning our games. That’s all we can do and that’s what we have to do.’
On Wednesday Torres became our third all-time highest scorer in European competition. His 17th goal for the Blues in three different UEFA tournaments – the Champions League, the Europa League and the Super Cup – took him clear of the previous incumbent, Peter Osgood. Only Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard have more.
Unfortunately Torres’s goal, the first of our tie with Atletico Madrid, was not enough. His former side responded with three of their own to end our dream of winning three consecutive European titles.
It also brought to an end an eight-day period in which the Spaniard had returned to both his former clubs, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool. He talks us through what must count as one of the more unusual weeks of his career so far.
‘It was emotional, especially in Madrid because I had never gone back in the seven years since I left the club. I was there from when I was 10 years old and it was amazing to see the reception of the fans and the way they still love me.
‘Friends, family, everybody was in the stadium so it’s a day I am never going to forget. But they knew I wanted to beat them, I wanted to be in the final and I was going to do everything in my hands to beat them. Unfortunately we couldn’t do it.
‘They are in the final so congratulations to them because they are a great team and they were better than us, but the one who feels the disappointment now is me because I wanted it to be the other way around.
‘At Anfield it’s always also emotional. Since I moved to Chelsea the reception I get is not the best because they didn’t understand or they are playing a game they need to win against an opponent, which I am now.
‘But again we went to Anfield and I wanted to win, I wanted to do the best for Chelsea. This time we could do it, we could beat Liverpool at Anfield. We’re still alive now.’
Torres more than played his part in that fine victory on Merseyside, too. Having been put clear of the Liverpool defence inside his own half, the striker raced clear with just the keeper to beat. Any Chelsea supporter rising to their feet in anticipation of a goal will have recalled a very similar scenario in the Nou Camp two years ago. The difference this time was that he had an accomplice to finish the job.
‘I knew from the first second Willian was coming with me,’ Torres recalls. ‘He passed to me and he kept running so I knew as soon as I got the ball what I was going to do.
‘If anyone is surprised because you pass the ball to a team-mate in a better position we have a problem. It’s the normal thing to do.’
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