Torres – back on the Liverpool goal trail
The weekend saw the reds keep pace with the chasing pack in a game that required not only a strong physical presence (Blackburn handing out almost 25 fouls) but a decent wedge of mental fortitude.
The reds went in to the game knowing that both Man City and Spurs had taken important victories – points that the reds may have hoped hadn’t have all gone their way. It was imperative that the reds won, and although Pepe Reina was needed to ensure it, the reds ran out winners.
In between the referee blowing his whistle, the reds at times showed some spark of the old quick and accurate passing that cut so many teams to ribbons last year. Both Liverpool goals were scored, not from set pieces, but as a result of clever movement and passing – a trademark until the cold winds of some shocking form hit late in 2009.
With Torres back, Liverpool could have the ultimate weapon in the race for fourth. His silky runs tangle defences – not only creating a plethora of space for any other player who fancies helping him up front, but more usual than not he tends to create something out of nothing.
It’s a relatively simple formula – when you have your better players available you tend to play better.
The media like to make much of the reds being a two man team – but you could argue that is one more than Manchester United are. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to consider either Torres or Gerrard, both goalscorers at the weekend, as prospective men of the match. Pepe Reina and Javier Mascherano are two of the other players who fit neatly in to the World Class category at Anfield. Mascherano, on Sunday filling in at right back, looked to be amongst the best right backs at the club on his weekend performance.
And unlike others, I doubt very much there are wails of complaints from the Argentine. Gets his head down and gives it his all to deal with the reds defensive injury and suspension mini-crisis.
The return of Kyrgiakos from suspension (another player who has stepped up to the plate and effectively helped plug Liverpool’s leaking defence) should be welcomed. As to, should the attacking impetus of Glen Johnson in future weeks.
Liverpool’s torrid first half of the season has been well documented, and all too often the enormous injury problems to Gerrard and Torres (both players either absent or clearly not fully fit) are oft ignored in the press, but most Liverpool fans watching Gerrard and Torres ignite (albeit briefly) on Sunday will realise this has had a huge impact on our campaign.
If Torres can be kept fit till the end of the season, the final ten games could bring in even more points than the previous 10 (which have clearly been markedly improved). Away from home, Liverpool have been toothless. The time to unleash the tiger is now here.
Unless, of course, Spain ruin it for us all over again.