Fernando Torres was rewarded for a solid performance in mid-week against Swindon Town, as he started in attack for Chelsea as they tried to wrestle three points away from joint league leaders Tottenham Hotspur.
An early Gylfi Sigurdsson was cancelled out by a John Terry equaliser as the teams shared the spoils at White Hart Lane.
Torres looked decent, especially in the second half, showing signs that he had maintained the momentum that he’d built up during his performance against the League One side.
He has that sharpness back, that energy and fight which seems to have created a confidence in him that a lot of fans haven’t seen for a very long time. He was clearly fired up but in this case, it didn’t end well.
He’ll now be suspended after picking up two yellow cards; the first warranted and the second bizarre.
Torres and Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen got involved in a personal and professional battle throughout the game as Tottenham’s Belgian defender latched onto the Spaniard, determined to keep the Chelsea forward quiet.
It was Vertonghen who was involved in both challenges which saw Torres booked, with the second yellow likely to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of several Chelsea fans.
The first was warranted, dished out after Torres scratched Vertonghen in the face, something that other referees may have shown him a straight red for.
The second was unjustified and a little bizarre. Torres jumped into Vertonghen before both players went down and the Belgian made a meal of the whole incident, which saw Torres shown a second yellow before the red when he got to his feet.
He stood, amazed at the decision Mike Dean had just come to and he’s not the only one.
Here’s what several Chelsea fans made of Torres and the red card on Twitter.
image: © wshjackson
Jamal Al-Shareef, former international referee: "Terry's goal is legit and Torres didn't deserve the red card"— Sultan (@SultanCFC) September 28, 2013
Not a second yellow for me. But disagree Vertongen did wrong. Two players with eyes on the ball jumped. Naive of Torres to put arm up— Darius Dingleberry (@LeeDingleberry) September 28, 2013
It was a terrible decision by the ref to send Torres off -_-— Mr T (@Pauly_T21) September 28, 2013
Torres is getting quicker. Very impressive. That red card was wack I. My own opinion and it killed the mood of the game— othniel! 課外工作 (@ExtraCurricula) September 28, 2013
Still sad Torres got a red card. I want him in every game.— Lily C. (@siewlily) September 28, 2013
Great first game of the weekend. Best i've seen from Torres for quite a while. Terrible decision from Dean to send him off.— Adam Bond (@AB0nd) September 28, 2013
Fernando Torres is back and they send him off. Surely that wasn't even a yellow. Terrible call— Emily Ann (@ThrowMoreBrandy) September 28, 2013