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Torres continues Liverpool renaissance

Published: Thursday 29 November 2007, 0.51CET
Liverpool FC 4-1 FC Porto
Fernando Torres chose a fine time to open his UEFA Champions League account and inspire a home win.
by John Mathews
from Anfield
Torres continues Liverpool renaissance
Fernando Torres celebrates putting Liverpool ahead ©Getty Images

Match statistics

LiverpoolPorto

Goals scored4
 
1
Attempts on target9
 
2
Attempts off target5
 
9
Corners10
 
3
Offsides2
 
5
Fouls committed13
 
12
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:22 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Thursday 29 November 2007, 0.51CET

Torres continues Liverpool renaissance

Liverpool FC 4-1 FC Porto
Fernando Torres chose a fine time to open his UEFA Champions League account and inspire a home win.

Liverpool FC grabbed three goals in the last 12 minutes to see off a stubborn FC Porto side and keep their UEFA Champions League hopes very much alive at Anfield.

Last-day drama
Desperately needing a win to keep their bid to reach the knockout stages on track, the five-time champions saw an early Fernando Torres goal cancelled out by Lisandro López but Porto's defence was unlocked late on by the Spaniard's strike, a Steven Gerrard penalty and a Peter Crouch header. Liverpool can now progress with a victory at Olympique de Marseille on Matchday 6 when Porto, a point ahead of that pair, must avoid defeat against Beşiktaş JK.

Benítez support
The Kop boomed out songs in praise of Rafael Benítez all evening in a vocal show of solidarity with the Liverpool manager, whose previous European result was the competition-record 8-0 win here against Beşiktaş. Support for the players was in no short supply either, and the home fans' encouragement was rewarded with the opening goal on 19 minutes. Gerrard provided the custom-made delivery for Liverpool with an outswinging corner from the right and the unmarked Torres headed down low past Porto goalkeeper Helton to claim his first UEFA Champions League goal.

Equaliser
Visiting coach Jesualdo Ferreira had promised to send his team out to play attacking, open football, and his charges did not disappoint as the Portuguese Liga leaders immediately drove forward in search of an equaliser. They got it after 33 minutes when Przemysław Kaźmierczak muscled Javier Mascherano off the ball and crossed for López who headed the ball over Pepe Reina's flailing arms.

López chance
López had a glorious opportunity to put the away side in front soon after when he beat the offside trap only to clip the ball just wide of the post, while Marek Čech went close with a deflected shot that grazed the roof of the net. The visitors were holding sway but, forever Liverpool's talisman, Gerrard broke the shackles with a blistering free-kick from distance that flashed a metre wide and the teams went in level at the break, despite their attacking intentions.

High intensity
There was no let-up in the intensity after the restart, albeit without some of the cutting edge of the half that preceded it, as genuine chances proved hard to come by. A towering clearance by Reina set up one of the better openings for the home outfit as he released Torres down the left. The striker teed up Yossi Benayoun to shoot from inside the box, but the Israeli international was off balance and he sliced the ball harmlessly wide. Helton had to be fully alert to deal with a difficult low cross by Mascherano, yet Porto held on until a devastating last 12 minutes.

Porto collapse
It was Torres who finally made the breakthrough, shrugging off Bosingwa as he burst into the area and rifling in. When Milan Stepanov gave away an 84th-minute penalty for handball, the game was up for Porto – Gerrard making no mistake from the spot, calmly sending Helton the wrong way. Gerrard's corner three minutes later allowed Crouch to nod in Liverpool's fourth as Porto were left crestfallen.

Last updated: 29/11/07 10.46CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15105/match=301224/postmatch/report/index.html#torres+continues+liverpool+renaissance

Lineups

liverpool

Liverpool

porto

Porto

25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
1
HeltonHelton (GK)
3
FinnanSteve Finnan
2
Bruno AlvesBruno Alves
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
Yellow Card37
4
StepanovMilan Stepanov
Yellow Card82
8
GerrardSteven Gerrard (C)
Goal84
5
ČechMarek Čech
9
TorresFernando Torres
Goal19
Goal78
6
Paulo AssunçãoPaulo Assunção
Yellow Card48
Substitution81
10
VoroninAndriy Voronin
Substitution63
7
QuaresmaRicardo Quaresma
Yellow Card90+1
11
BenayounYossi Benayoun
Substitution71
8
Lucho GonzálezLucho González (C)
17
ArbeloaÁlvaro Arbeloa
9
LisandroLisandro
Goal33
19
BabelRyan Babel
Substitution85
11
Mariano GonzálezMariano González
Substitution77
20
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
12
BosingwaJosé Bosingwa
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
25
KaźmierczakPrzemysław Kaźmierczak
Substitution65

Substitutes

30
ItandjeCharles Itandje (GK)
33
NunoNuno (GK)
6
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
3
Pedro EmanuelPedro Emanuel
7
KewellHarry Kewell
Substitution63
13
FucileJorge Fucile
15
CrouchPeter Crouch
Substitution71
Goal87
16
Raul MeirelesRaul Meireles
Substitution65
18
KuytDirk Kuyt
Substitution85
17
SektiouiTarik Sektioui
Substitution77
21
LucasLucas
18
BolattiMario Bolatti
22
SissokoMohamed Sissoko
23
Hélder PostigaHélder Postiga
Substitution81

Coach

Rafael Benítez (ESP) Jesualdo Ferreira (POR)

Referee

Roberto Rosetti (ITA)

Assistant referees

Alessandro Griselli (ITA), Paolo Calcagno (ITA)

Fourth official

Massimiliano Saccani (ITA)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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