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Lampard never doubted 'world-class' Torres

Chelsea midfielder hails Spaniard after double blast in Champions League

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard hailed world-class Fernando Torres after the Chelsea striker marked his 100th start for the club with a brace against Schalke.

The centurion saved one of his best performances for his landmark outing and tore the German side apart in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday night.

Questions have been raised over Torres’ form and fitness since the Spaniard made his £50million switch from Liverpool on transfer deadline day in January 2011.

But the signs are there for all to see in Europe that the Spaniard is starting to regain some form and his double against Schalke takes his tally on the continent to nine in nine outings.

Lampard though was never one to doubt the 29-year-old forward and insists Torres has always been a world-beater in his eyes.

“I think he's always been a world-class striker,” the midfielder explained.

“When you are that, eyes are always on you and we saw with his sharpness and his two goals, he has contributed this season, and we're lucky we have Fernando, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba.

World-class: Chelsea striker Fernando Torres

“It's good to have that competition up there but great to see Fernando get his two goals.”

Lampard was delighted with last night’s 3-0 Champions League win as Eden Hazard added a superb third to Torres’ double blast.

“I thought it was very good from start to finish,” added Lampard.

“'They're very strong at home with good support and had two good wins so far in the competition.

“I think when we defended we were very organised and didn't give them too many chances to create, and when we counter-attacked we caused them real damage.

“Coming away in Europe is tough but we put on the performance we had to to win the game, and that was very satisfying at the end.”

Chelsea return to Premier League action this weekend when Manchester City are the visitors to Stamford Bridge.

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