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Fernando Torres needs to leave Chelsea, says Stan Collymore

Torres hates putting on the blue of Chelsea and needs to leave, claims Collymore

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

15:44 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:07 GMT, 3 March 2013

Stan Collymore has urged Fernando Torres to leave Chelsea for his own good.

The former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker believes the Spaniard is finding his time at Stamford Bridge dark, desperate and lonely.

Torres, who cost 50million, failed to flourish under Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo.

Now interim manager Rafa Benitez, who helped Torres find the best form of his career at Liverpool, cannot help his compatriot to get back among the goals.

Torres and Benitez

Torres and Benitez

Substitute: Fernando Torres came on to replace Chelsea's match-winner Demba Ba

'It’s all over for the striker now. His confidence is beyond shot,' wrote Collymore in his Sunday People column.

'He will put on the blue of Chelsea every day and he will hate it, as he will the daily drive to Cobham for training.'

Collymore continued: 'I have said this before and I have to say it again: It’s time to go, Fernando. For your sake, and yours alone.'

Old boy: Stan Collymore also knew the way to goal in a Liverpool shirt

Old boy: Stan Collymore also knew the way to goal in a Liverpool shirt

Torres was dropped to the bench against West Brom on Saturday, coming on as a substitute for 10 minutes.

January signing Demba Ba played in his stead and scored the winning goal.

Torres is expected to start for Chelsea on Thursday night when they take on Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League because Ba is cup tied.

Petr Cech returns to Sparta Prague in Chelsea"s Europa League campaign

Cech returns to Prague but there's little else for Chelsea to look forward to in Europe

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UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 20 December 2012

Life outside Europe’s elite began for Chelsea on Thursday when they were paired with Sparta Prague in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech will return to his old club, but there is little else about Thursday night football in February for Chelsea’s players to look forward to after they became the first Champions League holders to fail to reach the knockout stage.

Back home: Petr Cech will return to Sparta Prague

Back home: Petr Cech will return to Sparta Prague

Back in the day: A young Cech while at Sparta

Back in the day: A young Cech while at Sparta

The reward, should they beat the Czechs
over two legs on February 14 and 21, is a round-of-16 tie against either
Ajax or Steaua Bucharest in March.

Boss Rafael Benitez and his players have more pressing concerns before then after reaching the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and with Manchester United 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Wednesday’s 5-1 cup win at Leeds came just three days after Benitez’s side had lost a Club World Cup final to Corinthians in Japan, but defender Branislav Ivanovic believes Chelsea are over the worst of their jetlag.

‘I think we were a little bit scared in the opening minutes because we didn’t know how we would react to the flight back,’ Ivanovic said.

‘But we improved as the game wore on and we have some time now to recover.

‘We need to win the next couple of games and only by doing that will we get back the winning mentality we had before.’

Chelsea could be 16 points behind United by the time they kick off against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, although they will have two games in hand.

Europa League draw: Chelsea face Sparta Prague, Liverpool land Zenit, Spurs take on Lyon and Newcastle face Metalist

EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW: Chelsea face Sparta Prague, Liverpool land Zenit, Spurs take on Lyon and Newcastle face Metalist

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UPDATED:

15:35 GMT, 20 December 2012

Europa League draw – selected ties

Sparta Prague v Chelsea

Tottenham v Lyon

Newcastle v Metalist Kharkiv

Zenit St Petersburg v Liverpool

Scroll down for the full last-32 draw and the round of 16

Chelsea have been drawn against Sparta Prague in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The Champions League holders, who finished third in their group behind Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk as they tried to defend their European crown, play the first leg away against the Czech side.

It will be a return to his former club for Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Ajax or Steaua Bucharest will be waiting for the winners in the last 16 following both draws in Nyon on Thursday afternoon.

Liverpool travel to Russia for the second time this season after being drawn against Zenit St Petersburg.

The
Reds, winners of Europe's secondary competition in 1973, 1976 and 2001,
topped Group A ahead of Anzhi Makhachkala on goal difference.

If Brendan Rodgers steers the Merseysiders through, it will be Dnipro or Basel next.

Humbled: Chelsea won the Champions League but slipped down to the Europa League six months later

Humbled: Chelsea won the Champions League but slipped down to the Europa League six months later

Dutch of class: Patrick Kluivert pulls out Chelsea during the Europa League draw

Dutch of class: Patrick Kluivert pulls out Chelsea during the Europa League draw

Main man: Luis Suarez (left) helped Liverpool top their group ahead of Udinese, Young Boys and Anzhi

Main man: Luis Suarez (left) helped Liverpool top their group ahead of Udinese, Young Boys and Anzhi

What are the chances…

Chelsea 8/1
Tottenham 14/1
Liverpool 16/1
Newcastle 33/1

Best odds available on the English teams (supplied by oddschecker.co.uk)

Tottenham have been paired with French big guns Lyon with the first leg in north London while Newcastle are at home first after being pulled out with Metalist Kharkiv. The Magpies then face a long flight for the return in one of the stadium's used at Euro 2012.

Spurs winger Gareth Bale tweeted: 'Not an easy draw but a trip to Lyon should be good fun for our fans.'

A victory for Spurs and they will play Inter Milan in the last 16 if the Italian giants see off Cluj. Bale scored a hat-trick against Inter in a 4-3 defeat in the Champions League two years ago and ripped them apart in a 3-1 triumph at home.

Tottenham general secretary Darren Eales expects a tough clash with Lyon.

'It's a tough draw and this is the first time in nine years they've not been in the Champions League,' Eales told Sky Sports News.

Action packed: The full Europa League draw shown on television

Action packed: The full Europa League draw shown on television

Watching brief: Figo, Inter Milan's ambassador, could see his club face Tottenham in the last 16

Watching brief: Figo, Inter Milan's ambassador, could see his club face Tottenham in the last 16

Holders: Atletico Madrid lifted the trophy last year after beating fellow Spaniards Athletic Bilbao

Holders: Atletico Madrid lifted the trophy last year after beating fellow Spaniards Athletic Bilbao

'There are a lot of tough teams in the draw. We can ask Hugo (Lloris, Tottenham's former Lyon goalkeeper) the way to go and I think he will be excited about the chance to go back to his old team and play there.

'If we do get Inter if we do get through, two years ago in the Champions League when Gareth Bale got that wonderful hat-trick – that's an exciting game but we have to think about Lyon first.'

And Eales believes Villas-Boas has what it takes to lead Spurs to the European title after he engineered a win for former club Porto during a treble-winning first season in charge which saw his side also lift the Portuguese Cup and win the Primeira Liga.

Hard going: Andre Villas-Boas sometimes found it hard to watch as Spurs finished second in Group J

Hard going: Andre Villas-Boas sometimes found it hard to watch as Spurs finished second in Group J

Eyes on the prize: Amsterdam will host the Europa League final next year

Eyes on the prize: Amsterdam will host the Europa League final next year

He's got the pedigree so hopefully he can do what he did with Porto two years ago and we can go al the way to (the final in) Amsterdam,' he said.

'We want to be playing in European competition. We don't see why we can't have a successful Europa League campaign and do well in the league.'

Alan Pardew admitted Newcastle's adventure in Ukraine will be a trip into the dark.

Asked what he knew about their next opponents, Pardew said: 'Not much, really. I do know it's a long journey, I've had a look at that, and they won their group, so it's a tough agenda for us.

'It's a tough draw in terms of travel; the opposition, I know very little about. I can't even comment on that until such time as we do some studying.'

Anzhi or Hannover will be waiting for the winners of Newcastle's tie.

Holders Atletico Madrid take on Rubin Kazan while former Ajax striker Patrick Kluivert pulled his old club out against Steaua Bucharest.

EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW – ROUND OF 32

BATE vs Fenerbahce

Inter Milan vs CFR Cluj-Napoca

Levante vs Olympiacos

Zenit St Petersburg vs Liverpool

Dynamo Kiev vs Bordeaux

Bayer Leverkusen vs Benfica

Newcastle vs FC Metalist Kharkiv

VfB Stuttgart vs Genk

Atletico Madrid vs Rubin Kazan

Ajax vs Steaua Bucuresti

Basle vs Dnipro

Anzhi Makhachkala vs Hannover 96

Sparta Prague vs Chelsea

Borussia M'gladbach vs Lazio

Tottenham vs Lyon

Napoli v Plzen

First legs to be played on February 14, second legs on February 21

EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW – ROUND OF 16

Napoli/Plzen vs BATE/Fenerbahce

Bayer Leverkusen/Benfica vs Dynamo Kiev/Bordeaux

Anzhi Mackhachkala/Hannover 96 vs Newcastle/FC Metalist Kharkiv

VfB Stuttgart/Genk vs Borussia M'gladbach/Lazio

Tottenham/Lyon vs Inter Milan/CFR Cluj-Napoca

Levante/Olympiacos vs Atletico Madrid/Rubin Kazan

Basle/Dnipro vs Zenit St Petersburg/Liverpool

Ajax/Steaua Bucuresti vs Sparta Prague/Chelsea

First legs to be played on March 7, second legs on March 14

Liverpool ready for Europa League third round draw

Liverpool ready for Europa League qualifying draw which could see them face Dundee

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UPDATED:

17:55 GMT, 19 July 2012

Liverpool could face Dundee United in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, which is due to be drawn on Friday.

The Reds have been seeded in Group Two alongside Dinamo Moscow, Steaua Bucharest, Bursaspor, the winners of Young Boys v Zimbru Chisinau and Mura 05 v CSKA Sofia.

They will be drawn against an unseeded team from the same group, potentially lining up a clash with Dundee United, who achieved back-to-back qualification for the Europa League.

High standards: Charlie Adam (right) says Liverpool should be playing in the Champions League

High standards: Charlie Adam (right) says Liverpool should be playing in the Champions League

The Reds could also face Ukrainian side FC Arsenal Kyiv or the winners of NK Osijek v Kalmar FF, FC Spartak Trnava v Sligo Rovers, Maccabi Netanya FC v KuPS Kuopio and FK Renova v FC Gomel.

Liverpool are currently on a pre-season tour of North America and will play their first pre-season game against Toronto on Saturday.

Midfielder Charlie Adam, who missed the end of last season with injury, believes the Reds will target victory in the Europa League as they push towards securing a place in the higher level Champions League.

'We need to set our standards as high as we can, participate in every tournament we are in and try to win everything available to us,' Adam told lfctour.com.

'We should be challenging for the Champions League, no doubt about that.

'This club deserves to be where it is, but you don't get where you are just because of the name. You get there because of hard work and a bit of luck.

'You set your standards high and we've got a good group of players. People saw that last season and at times we were unlucky.'

Europa League round-up: Tim Matavz scored twice for PSV Eindhoven

Europa League round-up: Matavz brace sends PSV through as Udinese overcome Greek test

Tim Matavz scored twice as Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven blazed into the last 16 of the Europa League by wrapping up a 6-2 aggregate victory over Trabzonspor.

Matavz's brace helped PSV to a 4-1 second-leg win at the Philips Stadion. The result was a formality by half-time, with the hosts 3-1 up and the Turkish side reduced to 10 men following the sending-off of goalkeeper Tolga Zengin.

The visitors started with hope after a narrow 2-1 loss in Turkey but a 15th-minute Dries Mertens penalty extended PSV's advantage and Matavz and Kevin Strootman extended PSV's lead before Burak Yilmaz pulled one back.

Easy does it: Tim Matavz scored twice for PSV Eindhoven

Easy does it: Tim Matavz scored twice for PSV Eindhoven

Zengin was sent off one minute before the break for handling the ball outside his area and Matavz rounded off a fine display by the Dutch team when he scored his side's fourth and final goal seven minutes after the break.

PSV will face Valencia in the last 16 after Los Che also made it through at the expense of Premier League Stoke.

A 24th-minute goal from Jonas gave the Spanish side a 1-0 win on the night at the Mestalla and a 2-0 aggregate success.

In it goes: Matavz scores for PSV

In it goes: Matavz scores for PSV

Udinese shrugged off the disappointment of a goalless first leg in Italy to hammer PAOK Salonika 3-0 in Greece. Danilo opened the scoring after six minutes and Antonio Floro Flores and Maurizio Domizzi sealed an emphatic victory.

Former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf scored the only goal as Hannover won 1-0 in Belgium to complete a 3-1 aggregate triumph over Club Brugge.

Nacer Chadli's 29th-minute effort earned FC Twente a 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest for a 2-0 aggregate victory, while a goalless draw was good enough for Standard Liege to squeeze past Wisla Krakow 1-1 on aggregate on the away goals rule.

On the scoresheet: Mame Biram Diouf scored the only goal of the game for Hannover against Club Brugge

On the scoresheet: Mame Biram Diouf scored the only goal of the game for Hannover against Club Brugge

Athletic Bilbao beat Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 to also advance on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate score. Iker Muniain scored the crucial goal two minutes after Fernando Amorebieta's 60th-minute sending-off.

Last year's runners-up Braga were knocked out despite a brave bid to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit. The Portuguese side beat Besiktas 1-0 in Turkey through an early strike by Rodrigo Lima, but lost out 2-1 on aggregate.

Atletico Madrid eased home against Lazio with a 1-0 win on the night giving them a 4-1 aggregate success. Diego Godin scored the only goal early in the second half at the Estadio Vicente.

Ukrainians Metalist Kharkiv completed an emphatic 8-1 aggregate win over Salzburg with a 4-1 win in Kharkiv, while Greek side Olympiacos rounded off a 2-0 aggregate win over Rubin Kazan with a 1-0 second leg win.

Hat-trick hero: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar got three goals for Schalke against FC Viktoria Plzen

Hat-trick hero: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar got three goals for Schalke against FC Viktoria Plzen

Matias Fernandez scored a late winner for Sporting Lisbon against Polish side Legia Warsaw, which was enough to see the Portuguese side 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-0 win on the night.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored a hat-trick including two goals in extra-time as Schalke nudged past Viktoria Plzen 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.

Huntelaar had opened the scoring in the seventh minute but Frantisek Rajtoral struck an 88th-minute equaliser for Plzen despite the sending-off of Marek Bakos on the hour.

However, Schalke dominated extra-time and they were rewarded with Huntelaar putting them ahead in the second half before he sealed victory on the stroke of full-time.