Key Liverpool duo close in on return to first-team action

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez welcomed the return of injured duo Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun after more than a month on the sidelines.

Both made substitute appearances in the goalless draw at Manchester City on Sunday which did little to improve either side's Champions League aspirations - although at least neither sustained irreparable damage.

"He (Torres) trained on Friday and he was really good. Early in the morning we thought 'no chance' but watching him in the session we thought 'OK, maybe he can'," said the Liverpool manager.

"But we also we had a problem as David Ngog (ankle) was injured and we couldn't play him so we had to bring Torres with us and because he was so bright in training we thought maybe he was worth 15 to 20 minutes."

Tottenham's win over Wigan means they have reclaimed fourth place but it is only on goal difference from City, with Liverpool and Aston Villa just a point behind.

In truth Liverpool did not do enough against City to warrant a victory but at least they remain in the hunt for a top-four spot.

The only genuine save of the game came early in the second half when Jose Reina tipped Emmanuel Adebayor's shot on the turn around a post.

Aside from that there was very little in the way of chances, with numerous corners from either side the only time there was any goalmouth action.

"It was a difficult game. We didn't have clear chances, they didn't have clear chances, but we had more possession and but for the pass in the final third it could have been different," said Benitez.

"I don't think the result is good for anyone. We both wanted to win and I have to think about the positives."

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Yossi Benayoun
Premier League
Fernando Torres

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