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

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has named the derby victories over Chelsea and Arsenal as his favourite moments of the season, while he believes Jose Mourinho has been the Premier League’s top manager.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino (left) hopes his star striker Harry Kane enjoys a prolific tournament with England's Under-21s in the Czech Republic

Mauricio Pochettino says everyone at Tottenham will be cheering for Harry Kane and England’s Under-21s after the striker was selected for the European Under-21 Championship.

Thu, 11:46
Joe Burns in action for Leicestershire. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Justin Langer, Chris Rogers and more recently Adam Voges… there are some distinguished footsteps for Middlesex’s latest Australian import Joe Burns to try and follow.

Thu, 08:00
Saracens'  Chris Wyles has scored two tries in each of this season's games against Northampton Saints, but he has been on the losing side on both occasions

Chris Wyles admits Saracens face a huge challenge as they travel to face the Premiership’s top team Northampton Saints in Saturday’s play-off semi-final.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder