• Date: Mon 15 March 2010
  • Venue: Anfield
  • Ref: Attwell, S
  • Attendance: 40,316


Torres (26)

Babel (28)

Aquilani (32)

Torres (77)

4 - 1


Belhadj (88)

Liverpool vs Portsmouth

Team Lineups


Jose Manuel Reina
Glen Johnson (Martin Kelly, 71)
Daniel Agger
Emiliano Insua
Jamie Carragher
Alberto Aquilani
Steven Gerrard (Yossi Benayoun, 74)
Maximiliano Maxi Rodriguez
Ryan Babel
Javier Mascherano
Fernando Torres (David N'Gog, 80)


Jamie Ashdown
Ricardo Rocha
Hermann Hreidarsson (Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, 76)
Steve Finnan
Nadir Belhadj
Jamie O'Hara (Danny Webber, 85)
Papa Bouba Diop (Aaron Mokoena, 64)
Michael Brown
Marc Wilson
Frederic Piquionne
Aruna Dindane

Match Report
Fernando Torres scored twice as Liverpool gave their challenge for fourth place a much-needed boost with a comfortable 4-1 win over crisis-club Portsmouth. The Spain star opened the scoring in the 26th minute before Ryan Babel made it two just two minutes later. Alberto Aquliani grabbed their third in six minutes on 32 minutes with Torres adding his second 13 minutes from time before Nadir Belhadj had the final say with a consolation in the closing moments. Portsmouth had been comfortable enough for the opening quarter with a half-hearted penalty appeal for Ricardo Rocha's handball the only cause for concern. Steven Gerrard also went close from the edge of the box when he should have hit the target, but Liverpool went ahead in the 26th minute. Pompey keeper Jamie Ashdown, who was deputising for the injured David James, smashed a clearance into Gerrard and Maxi Rodriguez played in Torres to tap in his 14th of the season. Two minutes later it was 2-0 when Torres turned provider with a cross that was stabbed home by Babel. And the match was all over as a contest in the 32nd minute when Gerrard found Torres and he back-heeled into the path of Aquilani to fire in his first goal for the club from 12 yards. The Reds were rampant with Gerrard somehow firing wide and Torres slamming a shot against the post. Pompey finally responded a minute before the break with Frederic Piquionne coming within inches of converting Jamie O'Hara's cross. Ashdown atoned for his earlier error soon after the interval with a stop form Gerrard's shot before he superbly tipped another Babel shot onto the bar. Pepe Reina was then forced into action soon after when he clawed over Michael Brown's shot from the edge of the box. Gerrard was lucky to stay on the pitch 17 minutes from time when he appeared to strike Brown with his arm but the win was sealed on 77 minutes. Aquliani fed Torres and he turned past Rocha and smashed his shot beyond Ashdown. But the visitors had the last word when Piquionne crossed for Belhadj to tap home with two minutes remaining.
Live Text Commentary

Babel cuts in from the left and fires an effort just over.


Babel cuts in from the left and fires an effort just over.


Goal!! Nadir Belhadj scores for Portsmouth.


Aruna Dindane finds himself clean through but is pulled back for a foul on Jamie Carragher, replays suggest the Liverpool defender just slipped over though.


Jamie O'Hara is replaced by Danny Webber.


Liverpool comfortable seeing out the match now, their work is done.


Liverpool are replacing Fernando Torres with David N'Gog.

Yellow Card

Aruna Dindane goes into the referee's book for dissent.

Yellow Card

The referee has booked Aaron Mokoena.


Goal!! LIVERPOOL 4-0 PORTSMOUTH Fernando Torres scores for Liverpool, slamming home at the near post from Aquilani's pass.


Hermann Hreidarsson is being taken off, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has come on in his place.


That elbow is Gerrard's last contribution as he is replaced by Yossi Benayoun.


Gerrard appears to elbow Brown in the back of the head off-the-ball. Referee Stuart Atwell sees the incident but lets Gerrard off with a warning.


Maxi Rodriguez gets to the byline and finds Torres who doesn't quite connect and fires straight at Ashdown.


Glen Johnson is being taken off, Martin Kelly has come on in his place.


Glen Johnson, on his retrurn from injury, jogs off to be replaced by Martin Kelly.


Liverpool are screaming penalty after Johnson goes down under a challenge from Nadir Belhadj, referee Atwell says no,.Replays suggest the Pompey man may have just got a touch on the ball.


Papa Bouba Diop is replaced by Aaron Mokoena.


It's Maxi Rodriquez's turn to have a shot after a corner wasn't cleared, but he drags his effort wide.


Great save! Pepe Reina has not had much to do tonight but he had to be at his best there to tip Michael Brown's effort over the bar.


Gerrard curls another effort just over the bar from Babel's lay-off.


Good save! More good football sees Gerrard free in the area but his shot is well blocked by Ashdwon, the ball eventually finds itself with Babel who see his effort tipped onto the crossbar. The reds are rampant at the moment.


Daniel Agger tries a free-kick from 35 yards but it hits two Pompey defenders before trickling through to Ashdown.

Second half

We are underway again at Anfield.

Half time

Half time whistle is blown by S Attwell


Papa Bouba Diop chips the ball over the defence for Frederic Piquionne, whose shot from the angle goes just wide of Reina's far post.


Breathless stuff at Anfield as Liverpool rip the game away from Pompey with three goals in five dramatic minutes.


Goal!! LIVERPOOL 3-0 PORTSMOUTH It's raining goals at Anfield! Torres again is the creator laying it off for AQUILIANI to blast home his first goal for Liverpool from the edge of the area.


Goal!! LIVERPOOL 2-0 PORTSMOUTH Torres is again at the heart of things, laying the ball off for BABEL to toe poke home into the bottom left hand corner from 12 yards.


Goal! LIVERPOOL 1-0 PORTSMOUTH! Ashdown's clearance is closed down by Gerrard, the ball falls to Maxi who lays it off for TORRES to slot home from eight yards.


The reds are again screaming penalty as Michael Brown climbs over Gerrard, the ref again is unmoved and the resultant corner is cleared.


Torres goes down in the area under the challenge of Wilson but the ref says no penalty, looks like the Pompey man got some of the ball there.


Liverpool are warming to their task, once again Maxi Rodriquez is at the heart of things, teeing up Aquilani who fires a volley just wide of Ashown's right-hand post.


Good play involving Alberto Aquilani, Fernando Torres and Maxi Rodriguez tees up Gerrard who fires a shot just over.


The ans are doing their best to get behind Liverpool but after a bright statrt the game has slowed down a little, they need a bit of inspiration from somewhere.


Frederic Piquionne goes on a mazy run from half-way bu his final shot goes wildly over the bar.


Bright start by Liverpool, a corner isn't properly cleared and Torres fires in a shot that appears to come off Ricardo Rocha's arm but the ref says no penallty.


Fernando Torres is tugged back in dangerous position to the right of the area, Gerrard curls it in but a Pompey head does well to clear.


Referee Stuart Atwell gets the game underway at Anfield.

Awaiting Kickoff

Pompey 'keeper David James remains sidelined so Jamie Ashdown deputises once more. Tommy Smith failed a fitness test so it's Aruna Dindane and Frederic Piquionne upfront, Aaron Mokoena is fit enough to return to the bench.

Awaiting Kickoff

£20 million man Alberto Aquilani returns to the starting line-up long with fit-again Glen Johnson. There are also stats for Maxi Rodriguez and Ryan Babel in a attacking side named by Rafa Benitez.

Awaiting Kickoff

Liverpool face Portsmouth at 8pm on Monday, March 15th.