Fernando Torres fails to score in 266 pre-season minutes after another miserable night for Chelsea

Diego Costa scored four goals including two against Real Sociedad
  • @Tom_Sheen

Fernando Torres suffered another miserable night in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd last night as he finished pre-season without scoring a single goal.

Bought for a British transfer record £50m in 2011, the Spanish striker’s goalscoring troubles are well known. It took him 18 matches to score his first goal for the Blues and in the three seasons since he has failed to hit double figures in the Premier League.

Last season he scored just five league goals, prompting Jose Mourinho to spend £32m on Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa.

Costa, who Mourinho called a bargain after he scored two goals on his home debut against Real Sociedad, took his pre-season tally to four goals last night; Torres failed to find the net once.

Torres played a total of 266 minutes this summer, getting on the field in six of Chelsea’s 10 matches; in comparison, Costa's four goals came in 355 minutes.

During pre-season the Blues have won seven, drawn one and lost two of those 10 games, scoring 20 goals on the way. Along with Costa’s four goals, John Terry scored three, Cesc Fabregas, Mohamed Salah and Branislav Ivanovic scored two and a couple of other players got on the scoresheet.

The drought will be cause for concern after Torres suffered a similar drought last season - between March 1 and April 30 he went 11 matches without scoring.

Mourinho grew visibly exasperated with the Spaniard during pre-season as his lack of confidence was highlighted by wasted chances and horror touches. Missing an open goal against Olimpia Ljubljana and poor attempts against Werder Bremen and Sociedad drew cruel mocking on social media, while a bad touch against Ferencvaros drew a deathly stare from Mourinho.

He will still start the season as second choice behind Costa, Didier Drogba is the only other striker in the squad, but Chelsea will again look light up front should Costa go down with injury or fail to settle into life in the Premier League.

Torres, 30, has been linked with a return to boyhood club Atletico Madrid but the defending Spanish champions have just spent around £17m to make Mario Mandzukic their No 9.

But with some comparing him to the basketball stars who have their talent stolen in the Michael Jordan film Space Jam, Torres may have to be content with a backup slot wherever he goes.