Torres double downs 10-man Blues

Fernando Torres scored a dramatic late brace as Liverpool beat 10-man Chelsea 2-0 to reignite their Premier League title hopes at Anfield.The build-up to Sunday's Anfield showdown was dominated by the fact Robbie Keane was not included in the hosts' squad, prompting talk of a deadline-day return to Spurs on Monday.

And it looked like the Reds were going to rue a string of spurned chances, most of which came after Frank Lampard's controversial dismissal by referee Mike Riley on 60 minutes for a tackle on Xabi Alonso.

But Spanish hitman Torres finally broke the deadlock on 89 minutes when he headed home Fabio Aurelio's luscious left-wing cross - and he grabbed a second in stoppage time when sub Yossi Benayoun pounced on a mistake by Ashley Cole and left the Reds striker with a simple tap-in.

The result saw Liverpool do the double over the Londoners and move to within two points of leaders Manchester United, who are five points ahead of Chelsea and have a game in hand over both their title rivals.

Rafael Benitez's troops set the early tempo, with Cech forced to tip a 20-yard drive by Alonso over the crossbar on 11 minutes before parrying a low 30-yard shot from Javier Mascherano to safety.

The visitors were happy to soak up pressure from the Reds and did not test Jose Reina once in the first half, which ended in dramatic fashion when Cole nearly turned into his own net after Cech had parried Albert Riera's attempt.

After the break, Dirk Kuyt volleyed wide and Alex bravely blocked Torres' goalbound strike, but the Blues were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark when Lampard saw red for what appeared to be a fair tackle on Alonso.

After that it was all Liverpool, with Mascherano heading over and Alonso seeing a deflected strike loop over Cech and onto the crossbar.

Salomon Kalou finally tested Reina for the first time on 75 minutes, but that was a brief break from the hosts' attacking play, and Benitez threw on Benayoun and Ryan Babel in a bid to break the deadlock.

The Israeli playmaker went close on 80 when his curling effort was well saved by Cech, who also kept out an overhead kick by Torres before watching Benayoun's 20-yard volley whistle inches over the bar.

But the breakthrough came on 89 after a flowing move found Aurelio on the left flank, from where he delivered a pinpoint cross for Torres to head home.

Benayoun then created a second in stoppage time after harrying Cole into a defensive slip - and the victory ensured Benitez's troops are now the biggest threat to United's crown.

0 tukang kipas:

Related Posts with Thumbnails