Benitez confident over Keane

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Rafael Benitez insisted he had no doubts Robbie Keane would start banging in the goals despite an 11-match barren spell in the Barclays Premier League.

The £20million striker finally got off the mark in the league for Liverpool with two first-half goals that sent West Brom to defeat at Anfield and the Merseysiders back to the top of the table. Alvaro Arbeloa added a third in the final minute to secure a 3-0 victory.

But it was Keane's contribution that pleased Benitez. The Reds boss said: "I have always wanted to support Robbie, he has been playing and contributing to our victories."

He added: I have had no doubts that he would start to score regularly for us. Robbie has told me he has got a monkey off his back, not an expression I had heard before but I understand what he meant.

"Robbie has game intelligence and he is always a threat to defenders. It was only a matter of time before he scored in the league.

"He is quick and can punish any mistakes that defenders make, and that is what he did."

Keane, a former Wolves player, clearly enjoys games against their Black Country rivals. He has now scored eight in his last six starts against Albion.

Benitez also explained his reasons for not leaving Keane on the pitch in the final stages to try to complete his hat-trick.

He said: "We needed to get Fernando Torres into the game, we needed his pace to complete the victory and maybe get the third.

"Fernando is not match-fit, but we needed to get him into the action. We had some tired players out there, Robbie was trying hard but Fernando was important to us in the final stages."

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Robbie Keane
West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Fernando Torres
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Alvaro Arbeloa

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