Search

Rafa hails resurgent Torres but coy on contract for landmark Lampard

08:47 24 December 2012

Chelsea

Chelsea's Fernando Torres celebrates scoring his team's first goal against Aston Villa. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

PA Wire

Fernando Torres is playing with confidence and that is why he is back in the scoring groove, according to Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez.

The much-maligned Spanish striker scored the first of his side’s eight goals without reply against Aston Villa yesterday, heading in a cross from just inside the box.

It was a goal that few would have said the 28-year-old was capable of scoring a month ago as he continued to fail to justify his £50million transfer fee.

As owner Roman Abramovich hoped, though, the arrival of Benitez, the man who brought Torres to England, has sparked a revival in the former Liverpool and Atletico Madrid hitman, who has now scored seven goals in his last six games to double his tally for the season.

“He’s a striker. He needed to score goals. The team is doing well, he’s having more chances, and he has more confidence as a result,” Benitez said.

Another to enjoy himself yesterday was veteran midfielder Frank Lampard.

Despite his hero status at Stamford Bridge, an extension to his rapidly-expiring contract has yet to materialise and he has been strongly linked with a move away.

He shrugged that off against Villa, however, marking his 500th Premier League start with a brilliant goal from distance that made him Chelsea`s all-time record league goalscorer.

“He’s an important player for us. He’s training well, doing well, his commitment is there. I’m really pleased for him scoring another goal, so everything is positive,” Benitez said.

“We still have a long season to play, but he’s doing well. The squad that we have is a good squad and we have to keep the balance. We have lost Oriol [Romeu], so we have managed with David Luiz in the middle, but we are managing the squad as best we can. If we can, it’ll be easier.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring from a free kick.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Tottenham will face Chelsea in the League Cup final – a replay of their last trophy triumph in 2008 – after overcoming a big scare to progress past Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Yesterday, 12:28
Emmanuel Adebayor (left) captained Tottenham against Sheffield United in last week's first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final

Tottenham blogger Sarah Bassett urges her fellow Spurs fans to stop booing Emmanuel Adebayor and get behind him for the good of the team, ahead of tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane.

Tue, 21:48
From left: Highgate Harriers’ Ben Noad, Brahma Pochee, Murray Strain, Jon Laybourn and Robert Wilson won bronze medals at the South of England Cross-Country Championships at Stanmer Park in Brighton. Pic: Dieter Perry

Jon Laybourn stormed to his best ever cross-country finish as Highgate Harriers’ men came third at the South of England Championships in Brighton on Saturday.

Tue, 13:31
Tottenham's Michel Vorm. Picture: PA Wire

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists he will have no hesitation in naming goalkeeper Michel Vorm in his starting line-up for Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Sheffield United.

Most read sport

New research finds that men are more partial to a posed self-portrait than women.

Did you feel the Earth move?

The drug is already on offer to patients in 21 other countries, including France and Germany.

Little chihuahua Digby has become best friends with a Neapolitan mastiff.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder