London: Fernando Torres capitalised on a defensive blunder to score a last-minute winner and secure Chelsea a 2-1 Premier League victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Spanish striker set up Andre Schuerrle for the Blues’ opener in the 33rd minute but City fought back level through Sergio AgŁero’s stunning strike four minutes after half-time.
However, Torres capitalised on confusion between City goalkeeper Joe Hart and Matija Nastasic to fire into an empty net in the 90th minute to give Jose Mourinho’s men a win which lifts them up to second place in the Premier League table.
The Spain striker, who set up Andre Schuerrle’s first-half goal, gleefully fired into an empty net after a mix-up between City defender Matija Nastasic and Joe Hart.
Sergio Aguero had levelled soon after halftime for City as victory lifted Chelsea back up to second place, level on 20 points with Liverpool and two behind leaders Arsenal.
Roberto Soldado’s 80th minute penalty secured Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 home win over Hull City and moved them up to fourth, while Sunderland moved off the foot of the table after substitute Fabio Borini lashed in a superb late winner in a 2-1 derby victory over Newcastle United.
Italian Borini, on loan from Liverpool, lifted the gloom at the Stadium of Light when he thundered a 25-metre rocket past a flailing Tim Krul six minutes from time.
Swansea City and West Ham United drew 0-0 in Sunday’s other game.
Torres felt Chelsea were fully deserving of their victory.
“In a game like this against a great team in the last minutes it tastes much better to score,” Torres said after the match.
“We controlled the game and created many chances but Sergio Aguero can score goals at any time. We won a game we deserved to win, we are really pleased to beat a contender for the title.”
Torres’ winner came after the 29-year-old forward missed a glorious opportunity in the first half at Stamford Bridge. “It’s a long ball, every ball has to be the most important ball of the game because it can be the one which wins you the game,” he continued. “The chance I missed in the first half I thought I was offside, I should have stayed calm. I made the assist and hit the post so I am happy with my performance.”
This was a first Premier League goal of the season, and only a second of the calendar year, with its timing deflating their fellow challengers for the title at the last - sending out a thunderous message to the division.
Jose Mourinho's celebrations suggested as much, the Portuguese charging maniacally past the away team's dugout and climbing steps to celebrate with supporters. This was the second week in succession he has ended up in the crowd following last weekend's dismissal to the stands but this was less about him. Torres has rarely departed this arena with the crowd bellowing his name so vociferously.
This was his contest, even if Sergio AgŁero's own brilliance for the visitors had threatened to eclipse him until that late intervention. The striker maintained that fine form from Schalke in midweek. Indeed, the hosts' halftime lead had owed everything to Torres' revival.