Rafael Benitez praised 21-goal Fernando Torres after the hat-trick that sent Liverpool back to fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.

Torres has become the first Liverpool forward for five years to reach the 20-goal mark in a season, and his treble snuffed out Middlesbrough´s brave resistance. Tuncay Sanli headed Boro ahead early on and Stewart Downing got their second after 83 minutes, but in between Torres struck three times to clinch victory.

Benitez said: "It is not easy for a foreign player to come into the English league and settle straight away. But he has done that so well. He has power and pace, he can kill defenders with his pace.

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