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Ivanovic hails Torres' return to form

DEFENDER Branislav Ivanovic believes Fernando Torres' return to form has created a feelgood factor at Chelsea as they aim to end a difficult season with two trophies.

Torres ended his six-month goal drought in the Premier League when he netted in stoppage time to seal a 4-2 success at Aston Villa on Saturday.

The Spaniard also had a hand in the other three goals, twice flicking on Juan Mata corners for Ivanovic to score.

Torres has been at the heart of Chelsea's best moments as they have been transformed under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo, winning six of the eight games under his guidance.

Torres scored twice as Chelsea thumped Leicester 5-2 to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup, while he provided the assist for Salomon Kalou's match-winner in their 1-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg at Benfica.

His goal at Villa Park was wildly celebrated by the away fans, with every Chelsea player racing over to join in the congratulations.

"It was an important goal for him. Fernando has been going well and playing well all over the pitch," said Ivanovic.

"We know how good he is. We've seen that every day in training.

"But at the same time, for him to score a goal was very important.

Chelsea's attention now turns to Wednesday night's second leg against Benfica at Stamford Bridge. Following a disappointing campaign few would expect the Blues to progress much further, particularly if they met Barca, but Ivanovic thinks that may work in their favour.

"If people think like that it can be good for us because we will feel less pressure, which in games like this can be very important," he said.

"But we have to go game by game and prepare everything. We will see how we go.

"Wednesday is a huge game for us. It is a big opportunity and a big chance. We got a great result in Lisbon but it is not over because they don't have anything to lose."


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