There is no doubt whatsoever that Liverpool will need that extra spark going into the final handful of Premier League games and our number nine is certainly the man to provide that spark which will enable us to finish fourth and thereby take our place in next season’s Champions League competition.
If Sunday’s match proved anything it is that Steven Gerrard is no longer Liverpool’s number one player like he has been on so many occasions over the past four or five years. No longer is he the catalyst that gets the Liverpool engine running, merely a necessary compartment that allows that very engine to run more smoothly when called upon.
To say that Torres’s season has been disrupted by a constant amount of injury complaints would be stating the obvious to say the least, yet the Spaniard has somehow managed to conjure himself up amongst the season’s leading goalscorer’s by way of his incredible knack of making something out of nothing.
Indeed this was the case for his first goal on Sunday when it appeared as though Craig Gordon’s goal was under no threat whatsoever, yet the Spaniard inexplicably managed to curl the ball from just inside the area with a dipping shot which left the Anfield crowd admiring what was literally a sublime bit of skill that left even Dirk Kuyt in a temporary moment of disbelief.
We should have known what was to come from the Spaniard as he provided dazzling and awe-inspiring displays in the victories over Portsmouth and Lille as well as scoring with an incredible header in the defeat to Manchester United. In those three games combined the striker scored five incredible goals and with that, he was still not satisfied.
Torres’s fitness problems have played a huge part in Liverpool’s miserable season and yet the good news for reds fans is that it appears as though the striker is nearing his very best form at the very right time. A fully fit Torres going into the final half-dozen games should be ample reason alone for Rafa’s men being the favourites for the final Champions League place. Torres himself has stated that he hopes there is more to come.
“I think I’ve scored better goals, but I hope the best are still to come. The main thing is we keep enjoying our football and keep scoring goals. I got my goals because the team is playing really well, giving me good assists. We’ll keep enjoying and keep scoring – that’s my job. We have six games to play and must be as strong away as we are at home now. We can beat anyone.”
The Spaniard’s goal-scoring record since his big-money move from Spain three years ago has been nothing short of remarkable. 56 goals in 77 premier league games is an incredible feat but despite that does the striker no further justice as he has also netted 70 goals in his last 113 appearances for the club.
Rafa’s more attacking approach in recent matches has only helped serve Torres’s glut of goals in a more adventurous 4-4-2 formation which the gaffer has adopted since the 4-1 thrashing of Portsmouth. This formation has allowed players such as Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt more freedom in their respective roles, unlike the more methodical and labored approach which see’s Gerrard shifted to a wider position – a position in itself not without controversy.
If Benitez continues with the same formation as in Sunday’s victory over Sunderland- and it only seems right that he does, then Torres is likely to hit many more goals before the season is over especially when you think of the teams that are to come in the form of West Ham, Hull and Burnley who have the worst defences in the Premier League.
The combination of Benitez’s tactical changes and Torres’s recent desire for goals should provide ample opportunity in itself for Rafa’s men to claim that elusive fourth-spot before the season’s end.