Torres return lifts Liverpool darkness

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Liverpool fans were given a glimmer of hope in the dire draw at Eastlands, with Fernando Torres making his long awaited return after 75 minutes of the stalemate.

His unexpected appearance provides an instant boost for the Anfield faithful, something the Liverpool supporters will need after this turgid display against Manchester City.

The Reds will perhaps be happier after taking a point away at a top four rival, but both sides will be disappointed with their performances in a poor showpiece of Premier League talent.

'El Nino' was tipped for a possible return on February 28th at the earliest, but his brightness in training and a late injury to David Ngog earned him an earlier re-call to the Liverpool fold.

"Fernando was very good on Friday, training really well, but still our idea in the morning was that he had no chance," said Spanish boss Benitez.

"But then Ngog had a problem, and because of how Fernando had trained, we thought he could make the difference."

On this occasion the talismanic striker was unable to have a significant impact on the game, not surprising when you think this was his first appearance in seven games after damaging his knee.

It's the fact that you still expect him to make the difference in 15 minutes, even after such a lay-off, that makes him such a threat. Without him, the Reds lack a genuine goal threat. With him, they constantly look dangerous going forward.

"Torres will need to improve his match fitness and so will Yossi Benayoun, but I have more confidence now with players coming back," Benitez continued.

Liverpool fans have every right to share in this confidence, with the Reds still well in the mix for fourth place and their star striker closing on his first February start. That could come in the Europa League second leg against Unirea Urziceni on Thursday, or against Blackburn in the league on the 28th.

"Both Fernando and Yossi have been very important to us and hopefully they will be again."

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Yossi Benayoun
Premier League
Fernando Torres

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