The London derby between Spurs and Chelsea was supposed to be about how Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas don't send each other Christmas cards anymore, but instead it turned into an actual quarrel between Fernando Torres and Jan Vertonghen. The Spurs defender, who pulled down an opponent's shorts earlier in the week, brought out an aggression and fury that has been largely missing from Torres' game since he joined Chelsea and as a result, the Chelsea striker played with an edge to his game. Unfortunately for Torres, this gave the referee an excuse to send him off for doing nothing wrong.
Torres was first booked for clipping Vertonghen's heels in the 51st minute. When Vertonghen confronted Torres after the challenge from behind, Torres gave him a sinister smile and scratched the side of his face. Torres was shown a yellow card.
John Terry then equalized in the 65th minute with help from obvious game changer and halftime substitute Juan Mata, but before Chelsea could further their comeback and take a lead, Torres was booked a second time and sent off in the 81st minute for a mid-air collision with Vertonghen that didn't have much in it.
Torres couldn't believe it and took his time leaving the pitch. Chelsea still managed to hold on with 10-men for the 1-1 draw, but if you listened closely you could hear Torres repeat his sarcastic applause from earlier in the match as the final whistle blew.
Though Torres has shown flashes of his old brilliance both last season and so far in this one, his anger and aggression in this game served him well and was a major change from the sad puppy vibe that consumed him when his Chelsea goal drought began. It's been said many times before, but, with his nails sharpened, this might be a true turning point for Fernando Torres at Chelsea.
- Sports & Recreation
- Fernando Torres
- Jan Vertonghen