West Ham 2, Liverpool FC 3: Dynamite Fernando Torres at the double
21 September 2009 02:00
THIS time it was Fernando Torres' turn to dish out the punishment.
The striker had picked up as many black eyes as goals during the opening month of the campaign.
Roughed up by defenders and warned by his manager to stop taking out his frustration on officials, Torres had at times cut a forlorn figure.
But beneath those boyish looks lies a big heart and a steely determination to take his revenge in the way he knows best.
West Ham were the ones left feeling the pain at Upton Park on Saturday as Torres' devastating double ensured Liverpool's recent resurgence continued.
The striker admitted last week he hasn't been in top form so far this season. The Confederations Cup meant he didn't get a proper break and his late return in pre-season left him playing catch-up.
But if this is Torres in second gear then it's going to be some sight when he's firing on all cylinders.
A player supposedly out of sorts now boasts five goals in six Premier League games – that's a crisis of confidence most strikers can only dream of.
Torres had the first and last word in a thrilling contest to extend the Reds' impressive record in East London.
This was the fourth time Benitez had tasted victory here in five visits but the boss wasn't sitting comfortably for much of this game.