This is a new beginning for me, insists Chelsea’s Fernando Torres
Chelsea's Fernando Torres hopes his strike against Barcelona will hand the beleaguered forward a fresh start at Stamford Bridge
Fernando Torres is hoping his goal against Barcelona which helped send Chelsea into the Champions League final will mark a fresh start for the Spanish striker at Stamford Bridge.
The 28-year-old has scored just eight times this season after sealing a move to Chelsea from Liverpool in a record £50m deal in January 2011.
And with Chelsea’s prospects of reaching the final finely balanced, Torres came on in the 80th minute and wrapped up a famous result by rounding Víctor Valdes and rolling the ball into the empty net.
“I chose to come to Chelsea and it is a very happy day for me,” Torres told Uefa’s website.
“Now we have the chance to win two trophies this season, the Champions League is the more prestigious one. It is a very important day for me, hopefully it was a new beginning.”
Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta put Barcelona ahead in the tie for the first time after John Terry had received a straight red for needlessly driving a knee into Alexis Sánchez’s back.
But Ramires’ audacious lob on the stroke of half-time gave the Blues the advantage on away goals after their 1-0 first leg victory in London last week.
With Barcelona heaping the pressure on Chelsea’s makeshift defence, interim boss Roberto Di Matteo introduced Torres for Didier Drogba, and the Spanish striker was on hand to finish a sweeping Blues counter-attack and send the Premier League outfit into the final.
“It was an important moment for the club, especially for all the supporters who came to Barcelona, there was unbelievable support from the beginning,” he continued.
“We had a very tough game, we knew that, and when Ramires made it 2-1 just before half-time, that gave us some hope. After Messi missed the penalty, we started to believe it could be our day, because they were missing chances.
“We only had one more [chance], the situation when I scored the goal, it was one against one with the keeper, I knew I couldn’t miss. It was the goal that gave us a pass to the final, so I am very happy about that.
“It’s a strange feeling. Everyone is happy, because we are going to be in the final, but the players who are going to be suspended are a bit sad.
“Everyone is tired, a different feeling, but at the end of the day we are going to realise what we have done, maybe tomorrow when we are in London and training together.”
“This season looked like it would be frustrating, no trophies, maybe no Champions League qualification.”