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Carra: Torres Is Finished At Chelsea

Fernando Torres has scored more Premier League era goals at Old Trafford than any visiting player, and he has particularly fond memories of the Theatre of Dreams from his time as a Liverpool player.

But he started Monday night’s match there where he has been for so many big games of his stuttering Chelsea career- on the bench.

It must have felt like the ultimate slap in the face to El Nino that Jose Mourinho did not even start the game with a striker at all, and the Spaniard did not look happy in the dugout for most of the game.

And he when he finally did come on midway through the second-half, it became painfully evident that Torres is half the player he was during his pomp at Anfield.

One particular incident was telling: Torres picked up the ball on the halfway line, with United’s high defensive line for once exposed.

He charged like a man possessed towards the Red Devils area on a run with power and evil intent. But suddenly it looked as if running at speed and controlling the ball at the same time was a brand new concept to Torres, who looked more like a baby giraffe taking its first awkward steps than a £50million footballers designed for putting the ball in the back of the net.

Watching in the Sky Sports studio as a pundit, El Nino’s former team-mate at Liverpool, Jamie Carragher, did not mince his words.

He thinks the old, unstoppable Torres is gone for good.

"I've played with Torres at Old Trafford and he tortured Nemanja Vidic, he totally took him to the cleaners on this pitch in 2009,” Carragher said. “You wouldn't have swapped him for anyone.

"But now he can't even get on the pitch ahead of Andre Schurrle, who is only a winger. For me, in terms of an individual player, I don't think we'll ever see Torres come back to being the player we saw a few years ago against Vidic at Old Trafford."

Furthermore, Carragher thinks Jose Mourinho strikerless starting line-up at Old Trafford may have been more a plea to Chelsea’s owner than the canny tactical manoeuvre The Special One suggested it was before the game.

"I'm wondering if Mourinho was sending a message to the owner in the stands," Carragher said.

"We all know he wants Rooney, that's obvious. He's basically saying that his strikers aren't good enough; that's what he's telling the world out there.”

Will we ever see this El Nino again? Click.

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