Mixed day for Torres as Chelsea win

Chelsea 4 Swansea City 1

The Fernando Torres soap opera continued with the Spaniard scoring and then being sent off, leaving Chelsea to weather a second-half storm.

Ramires scored twice and Didier Drogba’s injury-time goal put the seal on a Blues victory that was not as comfortable as the final scoreline might suggest.

Torres got the opener, netting his second goal in as many games when he fired into the bottom corner after being beautifully set up by Juan Mata.

And the striker was involved in Chelsea’s second goal, linking up well with Ashley Cole, who crossed for Ramires to double the lead.

But Torres then inexplicably lunged into a dangerous challenge on Mark Gower and was red-carded six minutes before half-time.

That made for a pulsating second period in which Swansea’s Nathan Dyer was denied by the woodwork, as was Nicolas Anelka, before Ramires scored again to effectively seal the win that maintained Chelsea’s 100% home record.

Anelka hit the post

Ramires’ second goal – a classy finish after collecting Jose Bosingwa’s pass – came with 14 minutes remaining and meant that Ashley Williams’ late header from Gower’s free-kick was merely a consolation for the Welsh team.

And City had salt rubbed into their wounds when Drogba, on as a substitute, turned and fired into the net after being picked out by Florent Malouda.

Torres, who was rested for the midweek Carling Cup match against Fulham, returned to the side, while fellow striker Anelka was preferred to Drogba.

There was also no place in the starting line-up for Frank Lampard, who was on the bench with John Obi Mikel getting the nod in midfield.

Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers was returning to his former club, having been a key member of Jose Mourinho’s coaching team during the Portuguese’s time as Chelsea manager.

Like Mourinho, Rodgers has built his success on a solid defence. City were outstanding at the back while winning promotion last season and had conceded only five Premier League goals – one fewer than Chelsea –  before this game.

And until Torres’ 29th-minute strike, it was obvious why. Rodgers’ side were well organised and looked comfortable before Torres controlled Mata’s sublime pass on his chest and drilled home from 12 yards.

That knocked the stuffing out of Swansea and they were caught on the break for the second goal seven minutes later when Cole found Ramires, who fired through keeper Michael Vorm’s legs.

Chelsea seemed on course for a resounding win before being reduced to 10 men for the second successive match, following Alex’s early second-half dismissal against Fulham.

And it was the second time in less than a week that Torres shot himself in the foot just as he seemed to have rediscovered his best form.

He played well and scored a fine goal at Manchester United last Sunday before his infamous open-goal miss, and this time he had again scored and looked reinvigorated only to launch himself at Gower and leave referee Mike Dean little option but to show him the red card.

Determined to take advantage, Swansea made a blistering start to the second half and Chelsea had to survive a spell of sustained pressure.

Dyer’s deflected shot struck the bar and Bosingwa headed Wales defender Williams’ header off the line as the visitors peppered the Blues goal.

They were, however, caught on the counter-attack when Anelka went unchallenged and let fly with a 25-yard drive that smashed against the post.

And when Chelsea again turned defence into attack with Bosingwa picking out Ramires, this time there was no let-off for Rodgers’ men and the Brazilian coolly steered the ball beyond Vorm.

Williams’ goal was the least Swansea deserved given their contribution to what turned out to be a hugely entertaining match, but Drogba restored Chelsea’s three-goal advantage in the final seconds.