Fernando Torres scores, Atletico Madrid win. Such a phrase has been synonymous of late as Diego Simeone’s men continue to breath down the neck of Barcelona in the La Liga title race. Torres has been prolific in the last weeks for the Rojiblancos, and his goals have come at a perfect time to keep Atleti winning games.
Torres still has intelligence
The 32-year-old no longer relies on his pace but his footballing brain. Torres knows he can’t outrun defences like he used to, but his sharp movement is still good enough to outfox the best of backlines to work an opening for himself in tight confines. He’s been in fantastic scoring form due to the ruthless nature of his finishing, an attribute commonly known from his first stint at Atleti and after his move to Liverpool, and he may be on course to fire the side to domestic glory.
Torres has scored nine goals in 14 league starts this season, but has been at his best in the last two months. Scoring six goals and making two assists in his last eight games in all competitions, the Spanish international’s numbers are back to their best. He’s a different player than the one who left the Vicente Calderon as a youngster, but it still revered by the supporters and is now showcasing the quality Simeone always knew he had.
Picking up the slack for Griezmann
With Atletico Madrid not being blessed with many attacking options after Antoine Griezmann, Torres’ resurgence has come at the perfect time to give the Rojiblancos another threat going forward. They have a player who is tucking away any half chance on the pitch, and it’s earning Atleti valuable points in the title race. The striker’s form has led Simeone to give him a full 90 minutes in his last three games rather than sporadic appearances, and he’s going to be key during the run-in.
Currently second in the La Liga table with 79 points from 34 games, Atletico Madrid are only separated from leaders Barcelona on their head-to-head record. They will be hoping the Catalans have one more slip-up in the coming weeks to stand a chance of toppling them, and they’ll also have to do their job and likely win their remaining outings. Antoine Griezmann has 20 goals for the season, but Torres has been the hottest striker in recent weeks.
Atletico Madrid are 4/1 to win the La Liga title this season, but can Torres and co. deliver?