Chelsea fans help Fernando Torres through torment
Fernando Torres has thanked Chelsea's fans for refusing to turn on him after the £50m man's Stamford Bridge career hit a new low.
Saturday saw Torres experience the ultimate highs and lows for the second successive weekend after he got sent-off for an ugly lunge on Swansea's Mark Gower.
The striker had just scored his third Chelsea goal and played a part in Ramires' second, but he made headlines once again for all the wrong reasons, much as he had done by missing an open goal after netting in the defeat at Manchester United six days earlier.
Those are merely the latest calamities to befall the club's record signing since his January move from Liverpool, with the 27-year-old taking an incredible 13 games to break his duck, as well as being quizzed by manager Andre Villas-Boas about an interview which - once translated by his own website - contained criticism of his team-mates.
Yet, throughout all his travails, Torres has enjoyed virtually unwavering support from the Chelsea faithful.
He said: "Obviously, when you are doing great, scoring goals from the first day and doing good performances, it's easy for the fans to love and support you, but the first six months for me at Chelsea have been very, very difficult and I have been struggling and I have always had the support of the fans.
"From the first day, every time I talk with them I can feel the support they are giving me so it is nice to start scoring for them."
After tomorrow's Champions League trip to Valencia Torres will have to cope without their adoration for the next month as he begins a three-match domestic ban.
The striker had never been sent-off in English football before.