Torres fires Chelsea to victory in Germany

Schalke 0 Chelsea 3

Fernando Torres scored twice in a thoroughly resounding – and potentially crucial – Champions League victory for Chelsea in Germany.

Eden Hazard’s late third capped a great night for Jose Mourinho’s side, who moved to the top of Group E.

Torres struck in the fifth minute, heading home at the far post from six yards out after Frank Lampard’s in-swinging corner had been flicked on by Branislav Ivanovic.

The Spaniard, making his 100th Blues start, hit the bar early in the second half but made no mistake after being set up by Oscar on 69 minutes.

It was a great night for Mourinho's men
It was a great night for Mourinho’s men

And the excellent Hazard got his name on the scoresheet after collecting Ramires’ pass.

Chelsea have bounced back brilliantly from a shock home defeat against Basel in their opening group match.

Back-to-back away triumphs have put them on course for the knockout phase and despite some anxious moments – not least during a difficult spell late in the first half –  they were convincing winners.

Mourinho dropped David Luiz to the bench, with Gary Cahill getting the nod alongside skipper John Terry at the back, and the Blues boss decided against selecting Ryan Bertrand.

Instead, Cesar Azpilicueta filled in at left-back for the injured Ashley Cole – and looked unconvincing at times.

Having made a superb start, Chelsea will have been grateful to hear the half-time whistle.

Schalke had plenty of possession before the break and Atsuto Uchida had a chance to equalise but blazed over from just inside the penalty area.

Kevin-Prince Boateng then had a shot pushed away by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, who also produced a fingertip save to deny Roman Neustadter.

The hosts faded in the second half and were fortunate not to go further behind when Torres’ header from Lampard’s whipped free-kick crashed against the woodwork.

But Chelsea had a lucky escape of their own when Benedikt Howedes missed a golden opportunity, heading wide of the target with Cech exposed.

It proved to be a costly miss for the Bundesliga outfit, who were undone by a classy counter-attack for the second goal.

Hazard found Oscar and the Brazilian skilfully put Torres in for a simple finish.

With Schalke well beaten, Hazard nipped in with three minutes to go and calmly slotted the ball past keeper Timo Hildebrand.


Chelsea (4-2-3-1):  Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Lampard; Schurrle (Mikel 72), Oscar (Luiz 83), Hazard (Eto’o); Torres.
Subs not used: Schwarzer, Mata, Willian, Bertrand.





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