Chelsea's 2-0 win in their FA Cup fifth round replay against Birmingham marked something of a new start for the club. Yet another manager has been paid handsomely to make a hasty exit and since he wasn't overwhelmingly popular among all the players, there is likely a refreshed feeling in certain corners of the dressing room.
Despite Juan Mata's best efforts, Fernando Torres' corner is not one of them.
From the Guardian:
[Torres] dragged a first-half chance wide and his descent to figure of fun was reinforced during the interval, when a Birmingham fan missed his kick in the half-time competition. "It was worse than Torres," he told the on-pitch interviewer, to much hilarity. The St Andrew's crowd chanted "We want Torres" upon the award of the penalty. The forward, who has five goals in all competitions for Chelsea, has not scored in 23 matches.
"I asked him if he wanted to take it because he provoked [won] the penalty," Mata said. "He said: 'I'm not first on the list to shoot,' so that's what happened. It was because he forced the penalty and I gave him the chance. Robbie [Di Matteo, the interim manager] put a paper with who shoots penalties and that was it."
And when generously offering the penalty kick failed to spark Torres to step up and vanquish his demons, Mata took it a step further and missed the penalty himself. Something he only did to make Torres feel better. Or make Frank Lampard feel worse about not being subbed into the match yet.