Fernando Torres had plenty to say about his team’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Shakhtar Donesk.
The Spanish international acknowledged that his team flies on the wings of luck more often than it should.
“I’m happy with the result but we know we must do much better. We know we have to improve. We have been creating problems for them, pressing and creating chances from their mistakes, but not when we have the ball like we’re used to.”
It’s a little ironic that a side gifted with considerable talent and greater depth than last season still has to rely on chance to win games. Particularly when that talent includes millions spent to solidify a midfield trio of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar. With Chelsea’s summer transfer strategy, good fortune should have nothing to do with Chelsea’s success.
Luck became synonymous with Chelsea as of last season, or at least it characterized some of its matches since Roberto Di Matteo (could he be their good luck charm?) took over last March. A few of the club’s most crucial wins involved the ‘Miracle factor’. There was Chelsea’s Champions League victory inside the Allianz Arena versus home side Bayern Munich last season. Then there was the UEFA CL semi-final against Spanish powerhouse Barcelona. Reduced to 10 men, The Blues somehow managed to hold off Barca and stage a comeback after trailing by two goals.
Unable to explain the events that unfolded, the media just couldn’t resist and joined the supernatural chorus. Liverpool’s 2005 miracle of Istanbul, hailed by some as the greatest comeback in Champions League history, was now replaced by Chelsea’s enigmatic finish.
Wednesday’s win wasn’t any different (just read today’s headlines to describe the victory and you’ll find references to divine interventions, miracles and luck) which makes Torres’s remarks all the more significant. Torres understands that his side needs to draw on its expertise and creativity. Triumphs are more valuable and consistent when measured on the basis of the known rather than left to some higher power.
While Chelsea showed short flashes of brilliance yesterday, they were outplayed and outfought for most of the match. It wasn’t until the 94th minute when Victor Moses’s header gave Chelsea a 3-2 lead and sealed the win.
Perhaps, Torres is on to something when he told media:
“We were a bit lucky – I think maybe the draw was the more fair result – but Chelsea has this special thing that no-one can buy.”
There are certain things Roman Abramovich’s billions can buy, for everything else there’s luck.