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Thursday 21 September 2017

Villas-Boas tipping Torres to turn corner for Blues

CHELSEA boss Andre Villas-Boas believes it may take only one goal for the floodgates to open for Fernando Torres after watching the striker go within inches of ending his latest drought.

Saturday's Premier League game against Sunderland saw Torres produce arguably his best performance at Stamford Bridge since his £50million move from Liverpool almost a year ago, with the striker unlucky not to have netted the winner.

That honour went to Frank Lampard, who was happy to admit afterwards his goal owed everything to what Villas-Boas hailed as an "amazing" scissor-kick from Torres, which crashed back off the crossbar, against Lampard and into the net.

Luck also deserted Torres when he was denied two penalty claims, the second even seeing him booked for diving when he appeared to have been tripped.

But there seems no doubt the 27-year-old, who has not scored in the league for almost four months, is benefiting from the run in the side he has been given as a consequence of Didier Drogba's African Nations Cup participation.

"He's still not scoring but is ever so close to scoring, which is already good," said Villas-Boas, who felt one goal could be the trigger for a glut to follow.

"Could happen. We will have to wait and see.

"Maybe a goal would help on the personal, inspiration level but we are not worried because he is doing well.

"Obviously, his confidence is improving and his form is improving."

Villas-Boas felt sure Torres' luck would change provided he maintained his current level of performance.

"It's down to luck when things like this happen," he said. "Of course, a goalscorer gets goals.

"But he's very willing to change his fortune and I think the goals will come."

Chelsea were not exactly short of luck against Sunderland, keeping only their second clean sheet at home in the league all season after their visitors squandered several chances to equalise.

"There have been games at Stamford Bridge which looked to be going our way and they have gone to a draw with the most unpredictable things," Villas-Boas said. "It's good to hold on under pressure and get a good result."

Chelsea not only cut the gap to leaders Manchester City -- who play tonight -- to eight points, but they also closed to within six of third-placed Tottenham.

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