Sunday, February 6, 2011

P.L. 2010 2011 Chelsea Liverpool

Stamford Bridge, London
February 6, 2011

Referee: A. Marriner
Attendance: 41829 

Chelsea welcome Liverpool on Sunday with all eyes very much focused on one man, Fernando Torres. The Spaniard’s move from Anfield to Stamford Bridge has prompted much discussion and even pictures of his old Liverpool shirt being burnt on Merseyside, yet a quirk of fate means he should make his first outing in a blue shirt against the men in red.
The gloom surrounding Torres’ departure did not last long at Anfield, no doubt helped by the arrivals of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. Suarez then introduced himself to his new fans with a goal in the midweek win over Stoke City to ensure the Kop have a new hero.

 


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Fernando Torres left Liverpool for Chelsea at a British transfer record of 50million pounds. Now the Spanish striker is set to make his famous debut against his former employers when Liverpool visit Chelsea on Sunday.
While playing at Liverpool, Torres made a habit of scoring goals against Chelsea, and it will be interesting to see if he can turn around and subject The Reds to the same torment. He played eight games against Chelsea in Liverpool’s shirt, and scored seven goals. In the last game the two teams played on November 7 at Anfield, Torres scored a first half brace of excellently executed goals.
 
At the time, Torres may not have imagined that the return match on February 6 would find him on the opposite side. It now remains to be seen how The Blues’ manager Carlo Ancellotti will play around with his resurgent strike force given the arrival of the Spaniard.
Based on Chelsea’s performance in their 4-2 away win at Sunderland on Tuesday night, it is difficult to see who of the three strikers will make way for Torres. Ivory Coast strikers Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou had a deadly combination in a twin strike force that was supported by French forward Nicolas Anelka playing behind them, and Anelka was exceptional in that role.
It is clear that the purchase of Torres was Chelsea’s way of clawing themselves back into the league contention, but at ten points deficit to leaders Manchester United, and another five points to second-placed Arsenal, they could just be clamouring for the moon. United are yet to lose a match this season and on the night Chelsea triumphed this week, United also beat Aston Villa 3-1. Arsenal came from behind to beat Everton 2-1. So, Torres or no Torres, it is still looking to be a difficult climb for Chelsea, but interesting times lie ahead.






Roman Abramovich saw his squad's annual wage bill rise to £172.5m for the financial year ending June 2010, some £40m more than that of Manchester City at the time, and Torres and the £21.5m defender David Luiz have now been added to Carlo Ancelotti's options. There will be further spending in the summer.
The owner's commitment is beyond doubt. "He made a big effort to buy me," said Torres. "The value of players is going down in football, but he paid big money for me because he has confidence in my ability. I know his plans for the future: building a great team; competing with Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur; fighting to be the best club in England and the best in Europe. And that's also what I want. I've won honours with Spain but, when I'm 40 or 45, I'd like to look back at my careerand see pictures of me as a champion for my club. To play against Liverpool in my first game for Chelsea will be a strange and difficult occasion, certainly emotionally. But I'm excited by this new era that I have in front of me."


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