Liverpool powered to victory with a 3 goal haul in 6 first half minutes in an enormously improved performance.
With 7 attack minded players on the pitch, the reds made easy work of relegation threatened Portsmouth and gained some ground on Tottenham’s goal difference.
Dirk Kuyt and Lucas Leiva made way for Alberto Aquilani and Maxi Rodriguez who returned to the side after being cup-tied in the Europa League.
Liverpool dominated the game from start to finish and the only blemish was a late goal conceded.
Most of Liverpool’s fine football early on was coming from the boots of Rodriguez and Aquilani, but it was Gerrard who chased down a seemingly lost cause only for Pompey’s keeper to be dispossessed by the incoming Gerrard. The ball ricocheted to Rodriguez who cooly played Torres in to fire home in front of the Kop.
Within two minutes Torres was involved again – this time setting up Ryan Babel to double the reds advantage.
Four minutes later and the reds had made it 6. Alberto Aquilani capping a fine first half display with a well worked goal, with both Torres and Gerrard involved.
The first half could have seen many more goals. The reds had three excellent penalty shouts turned down (two for handball) and Torres hit the inside of the post, Aquilani put a shot narrowly wide – not to mention a couple of efforts narrowly over the bar.
In the second half the reds continued to play football back to their best – and in the 77th minute Torres added a second to seal the game.
The only disappointment came two minutes from full time when a cross wasn’t dealt with by Insua at the far post, the cross was allowed to slide through the 6 yard box and Belhadj dented a potential clean sheet.
The reds have two big games coming up in the next 5 and half games. Tonight was an improvement on last week, and large swathes of the season so far.
Our Man of the Match: Alberto Aquilani
Post Match Comments
“I think it was a good game. We were trying to play well for the fans and score goals. It was an important game in an important week, so we are really pleased.
“It was really good for him (Aquilani) and for the team and he will have more confidence.
“We have seen a lot of players playing well tonight and that is good for me because I will have more problems and more of a (selection) headache.
“I think his performance shows he has quality, and we knew this before. Again I will say, there were some players playing really well tonight, and Aquilani was one of them.”