Just as he did in the second leg of Chelsea's Champions League semifinal against Barcelona's last season, Fernando Torres came through with the final goal in his side's 3-2 aggregate win against Steaua Bucharest to advance to the Europa League quarterfinals. But since he is Fernando Torres and the universe simply refuses to let him be happy, there were other, less positive events that followed his 71st-minute winner (video above).
Here's a breakdown...
Shortly after scoring, the suddenly confident Torres was taken down in the box but wasn't awarded a penalty. As he laid face down in disbelief at the non-call, a Steaua player kicked him in the face for just as little reason as Rio Ferdinand assaulted him a few days earlier.
The kick required Torres to go off for treatment on a bloody nose and an unstained shirt, but he was still charged up from scoring and wasn't about to let a little blood hold him back.
In the 86th minute, Chelsea had another penalty shout and this time it was given. Though Eden Hazard was the one who earned the call and was probably the first-choice penalty taker on the pitch at the time, Torres needed a release for feelings of empowerment and positivity coursing through his body as the blood continued to dribble out. So, he volunteered to take it.
Breathing fast and deep as he stood over the ball, surely envisioning a world where no one could ever make fun of him again if he finished off the tie with an emphatic second goal, Torres prepared to blast the ball into the net like a ginger god of war. He ran up...took the shot...and the ball bounced up off the crossbar and into the cruel heavens that perversely mock him. A thin line of blood trickled from his nose.
But in the end, none of those indignities would matter. Chelsea came from behind to win and advanced thanks to the goal that Torres did score. Absolute redemption is something one saves for the later rounds anyway.
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