Torres back on song for Chelsea

Many Chelsea fans remain baffled by the appointment of Rafael Benítez as manager, but they might have been offered a little enlightenment during Chelsea’s 3-1 away win at Sunderland.

Top of Benítez’s job description is the need to get Fernando Torres back to goalscoring form. The best spell of the Spanish striker’s career came under Benítez at Liverpool and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is hoping that the manager can get the best out of his compatriot.

At Sunderland there were signs that Benítez might have made a difference. Torres scored twice in Chelsea’s victory, one of the goals from the penalty spot. They were his first Premier League goals since October and his improved confidence was apparent in his all-round play. He was also involved in the third Chelsea goal, scored by Juan Mata.

"I said before that, if the team played well and created chances, Fernando would score goals," Benítez said. "For me, the really positive thing is that Fernando has a lot more confidence."

Benítez got off to a slow start at Chelsea in his first three Premier League matches amidst considerable hostility from fans. A resounding 6-1 win in the Champions League was not enough to keep Chelsea in the competition after results went against them elsewhere in the group, but it does seem to have restored some self-belief.

"I've tried to adjust things in training and the players are more confident and know what to do now," Benítez said. "The team has a clear idea of what we want to do and this win will be fantastic for the confidence."

After the win, Chelsea immediately flew to Japan for the World Club Championship. Benítez famously won the Champions League in his first season at Liverpool. Now he has the chance to win a world championship in his first month at Chelsea.

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