After The Match 


West Ham-Liverpool 2-3 (2-2)          19.9.09                        PL
Goals: Torres (20, 75), Kuyt (42)      Diamanti (29), Cole (45)
Team: Reina, Johnson, Insua, Carragher, Skrtel, Mascherano, Lucas, Benayoun, Kuyt, Gerrard, Torres
Subs: Babel (Kuyt 60), Aurelio (Benayoun 85), Riera (Torres 90)
Not used: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Degen, Dossena
Yellow: Carragher (29), Skrtel (44), Mascherano (50)
Parker (31), Faubert (36), Cole (90)
Red: None
Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 34,658
Shots on target: 3-5
Shots off target: 5-4
Blocked shots: 4-10
Fouls conceded: 15-17
Corners: 4-4
Offsides: 2-2
Possession: 41.6-58.4
Yellow: 3-3

HEADLINES "I hope there will be many more goals."
Fernando Torres
2009: Torres: My goal debt to Babel
Gerrard hails match-winner Torres
Benitez lavishes praise on Torres
Torres brace sinks Hammers   

Torres celebrating with Gerrard. (Photo: Reuters)

Torres: My goal
debt to Babel

By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website

Fernando Torres paid tribute to the impact of Ryan Babel after the Dutchman came off the bench to supply him with the winning goal in Saturday's 3-2 victory at West Ham.

El Nino was the talk of the Capital after taking his tally to five league goals for the season with a double against the Hammers - but he was quick to shrug off his heroics by praising his teammate's contribution to the Reds' third successive league triumph.

"Everyone knows Ryan is a fantastic player," said Torres.

"He played on the right wing and he gave me a fantastic cross which was easy for me to attack the ball and score. It is easy for a striker when the cross is as good as that.

"He is a player with quality who can do things like this, so without Ryan I couldn't have scored. It's thanks to him I could score the goal to win it for us.

"We knew before the game that this was a difficult place to come and win. West Ham are a very good team at home but we got the win.

"We played really well and we deserved it. We need to keep playing like this and keep working hard, because when every player plays well and works so hard then it's difficult for any team to beat Liverpool."

After a lively start to proceedings Torres broke the deadlock with a sensational solo goal at Upton Park.

He admits he was pleased with his first strike of the evening and now hopes that there will be many more to follow for the remainder of the season.

"My mind was to try to cross it as soon as possible because I was on my left foot," he said. "I was looking for a teammate but I didn't see anyone so I just kept going and managed to score, which was nice for me but more important for the team.

"West Ham kept coming back at us but we managed to get the third goal and we have to be happy.

"I hope there will be many more goals. I know when I'm working hard they will arrive so I have to keep working hard all the time for the team."

The victory over the Hammers moves Liverpool to within three points of leaders Chelsea ahead of their clash with Tottenham on Sunday.

Torres feels the Reds are beginning to rekindle the winning mentality that saw them finish second last season.

"We have to keep winning games which is the main thing but the next target is to keep more clean sheets," he said.

"That will be good for the team and good for Pepe. We have to improve and keep more clean sheets."

Gerrard hails
match-winner Torres

Liverpool Daily Post

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Fernando Torres remains the best striker in the Barclays Premier League after the Spaniard grabbed two in a 3-2 win over West Ham.

Torres’ recent form has been questioned, but he was the difference between the two sides today, scoring Liverpool’s opener and then heading in the winner after West Ham had twice equalised.

“He’s been playing okay to me,” Gerrard told ESPN. “People are talking about it, but those are the standards he’s set. He’s scoring goals and he was on fire today with the two goals for us.”

Torres himself did not appear after the game as he was receiving treatment for a knock to his knee, but Gerrard insisted it was nothing serious.

The striker had put Liverpool ahead after 20 minutes, but West Ham soon pegged them back as Alessandro Diamanti fired in a penalty despite appearing to fall in the act.

Pepe Reina tried to claim the Italian kicked the ball twice, but Gerrard admitted he had not seen it clearly.

“I didn’t have a good view of it, I was at the other end,” he said. “But the referee thinks it’s right so we get on with it.”

Dirk Kuyt put Liverpool back in front, deflected Gerrard’s goalbound header, and the midfielder is making an appeal to claim the goal.

“It was going in anyway,” he said. “(Kuyt) scores enough goals, so I want it.”

The win lifts Liverpool up to third, and with tomorrow seeing the two Manchester clubs play each other and Chelsea face Tottenham, they know the other clubs at the top will be dropping points.

“We can enjoy tomorrow now,” Gerrard said. “It was important we got our three points in the bag today as the sides above us are going to drop points.”

Benitez lavishes
praise on Torres

BBC Sport Online

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez singled out Fernando Torres for special praise after the Reds' 3-2 win at West Ham.

The Spanish striker, 25, poked in the opener following a dazzling run and after the Hammers had twice levelled, Torres nodded in a fine late winner.

"If he continues to play like that, he can be one of the best," said Benitez.

"When you talk about the Premier League you talk about a lot of players with quality so it is not easy to pick just one, but he is among the best."

After a pulsating encounter at Upton Park, the Reds secured their third consecutive Premier League win to climb up to third spot.

Benitez's side escaped an early chance with Zavon Hines hitting the post but Torres burst into the box to power in the opener past keeper Robert Green.

Dirk Kuyt regained their lead, only to see Carlton Cole shock the visitors with a headed equaliser on the stroke of half-time, before Torres popped up to grab the fifth and all-important goal.

Earlier in the week Torres had revealed that he was playing at less than 100%, while Benitez had said the Liverpool striker was "not at his best".

But Torres' double at West Ham means the Spanish international has scored five league goals this season and Benitez added: "He is a very good player and it is easy to see his qualities. If he is keen to learn, he will improve.

"He is now fit and we are working hard with him to prevent injuries. Hopefully he won't be injured and he can score a lot of goals for us but we have different options.

"We were in control of the game [against West Ham] and the reaction of the team was very positive."

Torres brace sinks Hammers

Sky Sports

Liverpool's star striker Fernando Torres bounced back to his best by bagging a brace to sink West Ham at Upton Park.

The Spanish sensation, who has been below his top form this term, scored two fine goals in the 3-2 victory over Gianfranco Zola's side.

Zavon Hines almost put the Hammers ahead in the second minute when he hit the post.

But Torres responded with a stunning individual goal in the 20th minute which saw the Spaniard beat James Tomkins on the edge of the box before firing home.

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher then brought down Hines in the box for a Hammers penalty which Alessandro Diamanti duly despatched, although the Italian appeared to slip before slotting home with his second touch.

Dirk Kuyt then restored the Reds' advantage on 41 minutes when getting a touch on Steven Gerrard's goal-bound header.

But the Hammers again drew level when Carlton Cole glanced home a header from a corner in first-half stoppage time.

Both sides pressed for a winner in the second period before Torres headed home in the 75th minute to seal a vital three points for the Reds.

The victory, Liverpool's fourth successive win, lifted Rafa Benitez's side into third place in the Premier League and left West Ham in 14th.

The first half was full of incident and it was the home side who squandered a great chance to take the lead in the second minute.

Liverpool defender Carragher dithered over Glen Johnson's pass and let Hines in.

The striker could not have asked for a simpler chance but although he beat Pepe Reina, his shot hit the near post before the Spanish goalkeeper gratefully gathered the rebound.

Another Carragher mistake on the halfway line gave Cole room to run at the Liverpool goal but this time Martin Skrtel made a wonderful saving challenge.

In the 15th minute the home team had another chance, Cole bundling the ball to Hines from Julien Faubert's cross but the chance came too quickly and Hines' connection was minimal.

Torres, meanwhile, acrobatically volleyed wide after 17 minutes before opening the scoring three minutes later.

The Spaniard broke down the left flank, bamboozled Tomkins and poked home at the near post.

Matthew Upson was injured as he tried to prevent the goal and was replaced by Danny Gabbidon.

Torres was proving to be a real thorn in West Ham's side and was confident enough to try his luck from 30 yards in the 26th minute but his shot was far too high and failed to trouble Robert Green in goal.

West Ham's woes continued moments later when Valon Behrami was forced out of the action through injury and replaced by Radoslav Kovac.

But the home side were back in the game in the 29th minute when referee Andre Marriner adjudged that Hines had been pushed by Carragher in the box.

Diamanti, making his first start for the Hammers, stepped-up to take the penalty and even though he put the ball into the net, the striker appeared to slip as he connected with the ball and touched it twice.

Angry Liverpool players protested that the penalty should be ruled out as Diamanti had touched the ball more than once but Marriner rejected their protests.

But Liverpool went back in front four minutes before the end of an eventful opening first period.

An outswinging corner from Yossi Benayoun was headed towards the far post by Gerrard only for Kuyt to stick out a foot and poke the ball into the corner of the net.

But in first-half stoppage time, England striker Cole rose highest in the six-yard box to meet Mark Noble's corner and head the Hammers level for the second time in the game.

In the second period, Hines was giving Liverpool's defence a great deal of cause for concern.

Javier Mascherano could only bring the winger down in the 49th minute and his mistimed tackle earned the Liverpool player a yellow card.

A rare West Ham corner in the 59th minute then almost caught the Reds out. Diamanti sent an inswinging corner into the Liverpool six-yard box and Reina had to tip the ball away for another flag-kick as it threatened to end up in the net.

Liverpool replaced goalscorer Kuyt with Ryan Babel on the hour as the Merseysiders searched for a winner.

A fabulous run into the West Ham penalty area by Benayoun almost brought Liverpool a third but the home defence cleared the ball at the last hurdle.

West Ham were suffering from the lack of a killer final ball. Kieron Dyer, on for Diamanti, made a superb run deep into the Liverpool half in the 68th minute but he could not supply the final ball to put Cole clear.

Liverpool's Babel tried his luck from 25 yards but his accuracy was found wanting as the ball went high over the bar and into the crowd.

But the Reds clinched the game in the 75th minute when Babel's cross was headed into the corner of the net by Torres from eight yards.

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