All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge.
After a substandard September that included losses incurred against Everton in the Premier League and FC Basel in the Champions League, Chelsea have begun firing on all cylinders in October in all competitions, returning four victories from four goals with 14 goals to boot against a brace of concessions.
Jose Mourinho's Blues have emerged as the form side in England, particularly after their destruction of Schalke which demonstrated an unbreachable defence, an impeccable offence and a much maligned striker who is prolific in Europe yet barren in England.
Spanish 29-year-old Fernando Torres was a goal machine at Atletico Madrid and for three of his four seasons at Liverpool, however, cursed by injuries, rotten luck and p*ss-poor form saw Torres stock fall despite a £50m valuation that saw him swap Anfield for Stamford Bridge.
The striker has been witness to false dawns before and, for all the criticism he has attracted, there was perhaps no player more deserving than to open the club's account in the 2013 Europa League final. While he is yet to convert a chance in Premier League competition this season, he has struck in the League Cup and returned three in Europe.
Ever a professional, 'Nando feels his fitness is a factor in his resurgence and is quoted by Standard to have said: 'The last few games I feel very sharp, very well. It's about work, working hard and feeling the belief of the staff, the belief of the players in ourselves and I feel the belief I have in myself.
'The more important games of the season are still to come.'
As internally delighted as Torres must be, goalkeeper Petr Cech elatedly went public with how good it is to see consistent activity at the other end of the pitch, he told Standard: 'What was so great to see is that the strikers were under a lot of pressure from everyone because they were not scoring and it has all changed in these last two games.
'We were saying it doesn’t matter as long as the team are winning but suddenly you see Samuel [Eto'o] get his first one, which was an important one to put us 2-1 up against Cardiff. Now Fernando has scored two more, so it’s fantastic.
'It’s great for everyone’s confidence if the team play well and score — goals are also what you need as a striker. Fernando deserved a hat-trick because he played so well, took his goals very well and was unlucky to hit the crossbar.'
Julian Draxler, of opponent's Schalke, provided the German reaction to the 3-0 loss to Chelsea. He told UEFA: 'Perhaps we were a little naive. You can't afford to make individual errors against a team like Chelsea. I think the cleverer team won tonight. That's no disservice to us – we matched them at times but in the end we were helpless to stop them. They had three chances and scored three goals.'
And finally, Sir Alex Ferguson is reported to have told Portuguese journal A Bola that he had the choice of signing Bebe or Eden Hazard in 2010 and was delighted to opt for the former, thinking he'd be guaranteed a return of 20 goals per season. Who got the better deal in the end?
'With feet like his, Bebe was able to score 20 goals per season. We saw Hazard, but instead hired Bebe. Who would have bet that would not work?'
image: © wshjackson