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

16:46
Hashen Ramanyake scored 96 and took four wickets for Highgate in their win over Kenton. Pic: Max Flego

Hashen Ramanayake and Ed Foster bowled Highgate to victory as the Division Three table-toppers stretched their lead to a commanding 22 points in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

10:05
Hampstead captain Steve Clark (right) took 5-37 to lead his side to a seven-wicket victory. Pic: Max Flego

Hampstead moved to within three points of top spot in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League after winning their third successive game on Saturday.

05:45
Jack Wilshere of Arsenal during the 1st team photocall at Emirates Stadium on July 28. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Jack Wilshere will be missing for ‘a matter of days’ and could face West Ham on Sunday after suffering an ankle injury in training.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder