Saturday 22nd December 2007 @ 3pm
Liverpool delivered another goal fest in time for the Christmas festivities to begin to put the two defeats of the past seven days behind them.
The reds ended Portsmouth 6 game winning run in away games in an important game to keep pace with the other sides challenging for the title.
Benitez put out a much stronger side than in mid-week, with Torres and Gerrard amongst the retuning nine players to the side, and it showed as Liverpool looked far stronger from the first whistle. It took only 13 minutes before a Harry Kewell cross found itself connecting with a Yossi Benayoun volley to fire past David James in the Pompey goal.
Within three minutes the reds had doubled the advantage when Torres caused chaos in the box – a Sol Campbell tackle only put the ball in Sylvain Distan’s direction and the player was helpless as the ball rebounded off his shin in to the goal.
The first half continued with Torres continuing to make a menace of himself, and the half ended with chances for both Kuyt and Benayoun to grab the third.
In the second half Portsmouth came out looking to make a game of it, but before long the red swathes were once again all over them – some excellent movement by the front pairing and with Yossi Benayoun continuing to be involved in some fine attacking play.
Somewhat against the run of play Portsmouth grabbed a goal in the 57th minute when a shot from Benjani Mwaruwari beat Pepe Reina.
Liverpool continued to press ahead and were rewarded in the 67th minute when some poor defensive work enabled Torres to cooly slot home the reds third of the game.
As the game ticked away, Torres continued to show his fine array of talent by scoring the 4th goal with a volley on his left foot from a Gerrard header.
Liverpool looked good today and with a handful of games over the coming days this was exactly what was needed.
Post Match Reaction:
to be added
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Benayoun (Babel 64), Gerrard, Mascherano, Kewell (Aurelio 76), Torres (Lucas 86), Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Voronin.
Goals: Benayoun 13, Distin 16 og, Torres 67, 85.
Portsmouth: James, Johnson (Lauren 46), Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Utaka (Kanu 46), Diop, Pedro Mendes, Muntari (Taylor 73), Kranjcar, Mwaruwari.
Subs Not Used: Begovic, Nugent.
Booked: Diop, Hreidarsson.
Goals: Mwaruwari 57.
Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).