Luiz shows Man City the way forward
At Stamford Bridge
Fortunately during Sunday's 2-0 crucial victory over Manchester City, it was Luiz who did both.
As Torres's goal drought stretched to seven appearances, defender Luiz popped up to score a decisive header and take his tally to two goals in five games.
But what really made him stand out at Stamford Bridge was his ability to stop City's attacks and get Chelsea moving forward. The key to this is his capacity for intercepting the ball.
Although the 23-year-old can tackle, he is proving a fine reader of the game, anticipating his opponent's attacks and moving across to pinch the ball before it reaches its intended target.
Once he has recovered the ball, he is also able to display his range of passing thereby allowing Chelsea's forwards to counter-attack quickly.
The Brazilian was certainly put to the test once John Terry was injured early in the second half, but City again showed why they have failed to break through to the highest level in the Premier League.
With only Edin Dzeko up front City started brightly, but lacking the injured Carlos Tevez they only really made any progress down the flanks.
And once they attempted to get the ball in and around the box Luiz was waiting to nullify their efforts.
"In order to intercept well you have a good football brain and work out whether you are in the right position to steal in, in front of a player," said former Arsenal defender and Match of the Day 2 pundit Lee Dixon. "You need to be thinking all the time.
"The second thing is you need to be quick off the mark and he has shown both those attributes since joining Chelsea. He looks a good all-round centre-half.
"He's good in the air, he's quick and fleet of foot and he reads the game well. He can also step into midfield, as he is good on the ball and can carry it out of defence."
Out of Europe and clinging on to a Champions League place, City are bottom of the mini league between the top five sides in the Premier League this season.
From their seven meetings with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, they have mustered only six points, and revealingly, they have scored only twice.
It must be a frustrating experience for City fans who pay to watch the likes of Tevez, Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, David Silva and Adam Johnson, but who rarely see more than three of those players in the starting line-up.
Early on against Chelsea, Silva looked to provide support to lone striker Dzeko from the left but after that Yaya Toure struggled to get close to the Bosnian from more central areas.
While Balotelli was unlikely to start after his midweek sending off riled Mancini, playing a solitary forward figure against the bigger clubs seems to be almost fruitless.
Manchester City first-team coach David Platt denied this after the game.
"James Milner is a universal player, we've got Edin Dzeko on the pitch, David Silva and we played Yaya Toure further forward," he said.
"We didn't come here to sit off them, I think the first 10 or 15 minutes we took the game to them that little bit more. But they started to get on top of the game and get possession and when they have possession you have to defend against it.
"We've played that formation several times this season with those players."
In this case, Dixon believes that the system fell down because of the personnel involved.
"When you play a system like you did today you need a bit of mobility up front and you couldn't get two more different players than Tevez and Dzeko," he said.
"Dzeko has got a huge amount to prove and he's not shown anything that suggests he is worth the money they paid for him. He needs to hold the ball up, especially away from home, and you need pace to chase into the corners. From Sunday's evidence he has neither."
Chelsea may be a long way from being able to retain their Premier League title but at least their positive approach over the last two months, spurned on by Luiz, has enabled them to turn around their fortunes after a slump around the festive period.
Long gone are the questions on whether they can qualify for next season's Champions League.
The same cannot be said for City, however, and the wider issue is whether they have the right method to achieve the same target.