A spirited Liverpool FC display at Villa Park on Tuesday night, including a 93rd minute Fernando Torres winner, his 50th for Liverpool and the fastest ever scored by any Liverpool player, provided the perfect, confidence building, tonic the Red Men needed to give their ailing season some sort of momentum and a platform to build upon. In short, it will have given them belief.
Ironically, it was the match-winner Torres who looked the most out-of-sorts player on the field until he scored that beauty of a goal. The final ball was missing and the ones he did receive he was unable to capitalize on. His body language didn’t look good. But like the world-class striker he is, he only needed one clear-cut chance and he took it brilliantly.
“He is one of the best strikers in the world,” Benítez said afterwards. “You can never say that one player is the best, because in other countries there are also great players, but I think he’s one of the best”.
However, without another outstanding display by Pepe Reina the game might have already been out of reach. Reina made several world-class saves to keep the game alive. Is Reina having one of his best season’s ever?
At one point during the game I was beginning to wonder if Liverpool were in fact the unluckiest team in the Premiership after having another stonewall penalty waved away after a mis-timed tackle by Richard Dunne on Dirk Kuyt. How referee Lee Probert didn’t give it I’ll never know. One TV commentator stated that if it was outside the box a foul would have been given so it had to be a penalty.
So our next league game is at Anfield on 10 January against Tottenham, who are sitting in that Champions League 4th spot and 4 points ahead of us. Let’s hope the confidence building momentum from this game continues and later that day it’s down to just one.