Torres Cetak Dua Gol, Chelsea ke Semi Final
TEMPO.CO, London- Chelsea berhasil menaklukkan Leicester City dengan skor telak 5-2 di Stamford Bridge dalam ajang perempat final Piala FA, Minggu 18 Maret 2012. Fernando Torrs menjadi bintang dengan mencetak dua gol pada laga itu. Hasil itu membuat Chelsea melaju ke semi final.
Chelsea tampil menekan sejak awal pertandingan. Laga baru dimulai tiga menit, The Blues langsung mengancam lewat sepakan voli Juan Manuel Mata di sisi kiri kotak penalti. Mata mendapat umpan lambung matang dari rekan sekompatriotnya, Fernando Torres di sayap kanan.
Chelsea bisa memimpin di menit ke-12. Umpan pojok Juan Mata ke dekat gawang tidak dihalau Kasper Schmeichel, walhasil Gary Cahill dengan mudah menyambarnya.
Gol itu nampak membuat Chelsea makin bersemangat. Hasilnya enam menit berselang Chelsea berhasil menambah golnya lewat Salomon Kalou. Pemain asal Pantai Gading itu menyempurnakan umpan Torres dari sayap kanan.
Setelah mencetak dua gol, permainan Chelsea mulai mengendur. Leicester justru mampu lebih menekan. Meski begitu 14 kali usaha Leicester dalam mengejar ketertinggalan tak pernah berhasil. Hingga turun minum, Chelsea tetap memimpin 2-0.
Meski begitu, di babak kedua Chelsea bisa kembali menguasai permainan. Hasilnya pun terlihat di menit ke-67. Kali ini gol Chelsea dicetak Fernando Torres yang berhasil menemabk dari dalam kotak penatli, setelah menerima umpan Raul Meireles. Itu merupakan gol pertama Torres sejak 19 Oktober 2011.
Sepuluh menit kemudian Leicester mampu memperkecil keadaan. Sepakan Neil Danns berhasil dimentahkan Petr Cech, namun bola pantul berhasil disambar Jermain Beckford.
Chelsea berhasil menambah keunggulan di menit ke-85, kembali lewat aksi Torres. Umpan pojok Meireles berhasil dimaksimalkan dengan baik oleh sundulan Torres. Namun Leicester kembali memperkecil keadaan tiga menit berselang lewat pemain penggantinya, Ben Marshall.
Tapi Chelsea kembali bisa memperlebar jarak kemenanagan. Meireles yang memberi dua umpan ke Torres juga tak mau kalah. Pemain asal Portugal itu mencetak gol kelima Chelsea di menit pertama injury time babak kedua.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic (Luiz 75’), Torres, Mata (Malouda 45’), Mikel, Meireles, Bosingwa, Kalou (Essien 64’), Sturridge, Cahill, Bertrand.
Cadangan: Hilario, Lampard, Drogba, Ferreira.
Leicester: Schmeichel; St Ledger (Schlupp 64’), Morgan, Bamba,Konchesky; Gallagher (Pelter 43’), Danns, Wellens (Marshall 83’), Dyer; Beckford, Nugent.
Cadangan:Kennedy, Smith, Hopper, Howard.
EUROSPORT | IRVAN SAPUTRA
Fernando Torres ended a 24-game goal drought with two strikes as Chelsea eased past Leicester to book a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Gary Cahill headed the hosts in front and Salomon Kalou finished a breakaway for a second before Torres prodded in.
After Jermaine Beckford tapped in a rebound, Torres, who had not scored in 152 days, headed a fourth.
Leicester’s Ben Marshall drove in from 25 yards but Raul Meireles finished a counter-attack to score the fifth.
The Stamford Bridge club will face the winner of the abandoned quarter-final between Tottenham and Bolton in the last four.
Interim Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo has stated that he will give Torres, who cost £50 million from Liverpool in January 2011, as long as it takes to rediscover his goal-scoring form.
The Spain international’s work around the box suggested that confidence is not a problem but he wasted one first-half opportunity and passed rather than shot on two occasions.
But the weight was lifted when the striker found the net for only the sixth time since his move from Anfield, scrambling in from a Meireles cross. He then added Chelsea’s fourth in a game that also saw him create two other goals.
Torres’s breakthrough was another bonus for Chelsea as they won a fourth successive match for the first time since September, securing a trip to Wembley and a place in the semi-finals for the fifth time in seven years.
Beating lower-league opposition in an FA Cup quarter-final is hardly a notable achievement, given the success that has been enjoyed by the Blues over the last decade.
But it is the return of an authority and ruthlessness that contrasts so sharply with Andre Villas-Boas’ time in charge at Stamford Bridge.
There may have been seven changes from the team that beat Napoli in the Champions League but Chelsea began with a similar intensity and Torres earned the corner that saw the hosts take the lead with only 11 minutes gone.
Juan Mata clipped the ball in from the right and Cahill rose above Wes Morgan to head in from six yards before unveiling a “Praying 4 Muamba” T-shirt in honour of his stricken former team-mate Fabrice Muamba.
They managed a second five minutes later when Torres tore clear down the right and showed intelligence to cross for Kalou, who calmly guided past visiting goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Torres got a clear opening of his own midway through the opening period when Mata cushioned a high ball and chipped into the area only for his fellow Spaniard to head straight at Schmeichel.
Midway through the second half, Malouda sent Meireles into space down the right and the Portuguese’s cross was guided in by Torres.
After the impressive Neil Danns saw a shot come back off the post, Beckford touched in for his 15th FA Cup goal in 15 starts.
Torres restored the three-goal gap with a neat header only for Leicester substitute Marshall to thump in for his first since joining from Stoke .
But Chelsea scored a fifth when Torres raced down the left and cut back for Meireles to sweep in.
Fernando Torres ends goal drought as Chelsea ease past Leicester
Fernando Torres celebrates with Raul Meireles after scoring his second goal against Leicester City. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP
David Hytner at Stamford Bridge
The Guardian, Sun 18 Mar 2012 16.44 GMT
The T-shirts are on their way to the printers. “I was there when Fernando Torres scored.” After what can only be described as a hard day’s night, Chelsea’s £50m striker finally ended his goal drought. It had passed the 24-hour mark in Wednesday’s Champions League epic against Napoli and the number-crunchers had it at 25 hours and 41 minutes when Raul Meireles broke forward and crossed for him.
This FA Cup quarter-final was as good as over, as Chelsea coasted on the back of first-half goals from Gary Cahill and Salomon Kalou. But the home crowd wanted to see their man remove the monkey from his back and drop-kick it out of Stamford Bridge. Torres’s finish hardly overflowed with conviction. Having taken a touch, he scraped his right-footed shot towards the far corner. At first, it looked as though he had mishit it. But he had not and the ball wriggled past Kasper Schmeichel. Cue widespread rejoicing.
The London bus analogy promptly came into play. After Leicester City had pulled a goal back through Jermaine Beckford, which their attacking play had merited, Meireles swung over a corner and Torres, darting clear of his markers, diverted a fine header into the far corner.
He was not finished. After what felt like another Leicester consolation, a sumptuous long-range drive from the substitute Ben Marshall, Torres galloped clear to advertise the hat-trick. Instead, though, he squared for Meireles, his provider, and the Portuguese completed the scoring. Torres had also set up Kalou’s second goal. He could savour his man-of-the-match performance.
Chelsea’s run goes on. It is now four wins in four matches under the caretaker charge of Roberto Di Matteo. John Terry, the captain, who did not play here, had noted that as the club chased glory in the Champions League and FA Cup, “it could turn out to be one of our finest seasons ever”. The feelgood factor was bolstered by Torres.
Chelsea were up and running at the outset. Di Matteo had made wholesale changes from the Napoli game, yet there was a zest and cohesion about his shadow side. The opening goal, though, was underscored by sadness. Cahill spent two-and-a-half seasons alongside Fabrice Muamba at Bolton Wanderers and after he rose to power home Juan Mata’s corner to record his first goal for Chelsea, he lifted his shirt to reveal a message that caught the mood within the game: Pray 4 Muamba.
Leicester’s noisy travelling fans had enjoyed one or two flickers in the opening exchanges, most notably when Beckford felt that he was tripped by Meireles on the very margins of the penalty area and the eye-catching Neil Danns endeavoured to drive them back into the game. He saw a 34th-minute shot tipped superbly to safety by Petr Cech. Yet there was a looseness about the visitors’ work at the back and they were repeatedly exposed down the flanks.
Chelsea ought to have been out of sight by the halfway point of the first-half but, as it was, they led 2-0, after Torres accelerated away from Richie Wellens to cross for Kalou, who showed wonderful composure before stroking his shot past Schmeichel into the far corner. The goalkeeper’s father, Peter, was among the celebrities in the stands.
The home support thrilled to sublime skills. Daniel Sturridge brought down one long ball on his toe, before moving past Sol Bamba and clipping past the far post; Torres had been available for the cut-back. Mata also showcased his control on the byline. He teed up Torres but the Spaniard’s header was directed straight at Schmeichel. Shortly after the opening goal, Sturridge had spun and burst, removed Schmeichel from the picture and fed Mata, but his goal-bound shot hit Paul Konchesky.
Not for the first time, Torres and his travails to score for the first time since 19 October against Genk provided the principle sub-plot. Much of his game was worthy of praise. There were flashes of pace and a smattering of good first touches and passes. But goals have been so desperately needed and when he sliced his shot when well placed on 59 minutes, the home fans who have stayed so loyally behind him might have feared the worst. This time, though, he fashioned a different script.