Fernando Torres’ AC Milan debut in the weekend’s loss against Juventus was an unhappy affair, as he tallied just four touches in a 14-minute cameo off the bench.
But on Tuesday Rossoneri boss Pippo Inzaghi decided to hand the Spaniard his first start in Italian football – giving him a better chance to make his mark.
Things started off terribly wrong for the San Siro outfit at the Stadio Carlo Castellani, however, as they were down 2-0 to newly-promoted Empoli after just 21 minutes.
Only the Chelsea loanee popped up to notch his first Serie A strike with a looping header just before half-time, spurring Milan on to snatch a 2-2 draw.
Following three-and-a-half years of inconsistent goalscoring form at Stamford Bridge, the 30-year-old had opened his account in Italy after 57 minutes of action.
He told Sky Sport Italia of his maiden Rossoneri goal: “I am very happy with my first goal, but the victory would’ve been more important."
“My personal objectives and the team objectives are the same thing: qualifying for Europe. I’ll take it one game at a time and try to improve."
“It is always easy to play alongside great players.”
All told, Torres tallied five successful dribbles and four shots on the evening. He garnered praise from the Italian media – with TuttoMercatoWeb referring to his fine finish as a return of ‘the old Torres’.
Milan will certainly be pleased that Torres has hit the ground running in Serie A, the Spaniard remarking he knew the Italian top flight well prior to his arrival.
“I already knew Italian football, having faced many of their sides in the Champions League and at international level, so I knew it was a very physical approach.”
Torres’ two-year loan at San Siro coincides with the final two years of his Chelsea contract, meaning his time with the Blues is effectively up.
But if he can continue to get on the scoresheet regularly in Italy there will be yet be longevity in his career, and suitors for his services won’t be in short supply.
Next up for Milan is a trip to face minnows Cesena at the weekend – a side that have shipped five goals in their opening three games – the perfect opportunity for Torres to solidify his place in the starting eleven by netting for the second straight game.