Another important victory for Liverpool on Saturdy with the 3-2 win at Upton Park. Our third league victory in a row and although things really aren’t perfect and rosy yet (especially defensively), things are looking up as the season starts to get rolling.
We start our look a this morning’s back pages by brushing over the horrible scenes at Old Trafford yesterday and going straight to Paul Doyle’s match report for The Guardian.
He notices how things have changed since the opening day of the season when:
“Then, Benítez had criticised Torres for brooding through a defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, and ordered him to stop complaining about rugged opponents and to concentrate on beating them instead. Evidently, the striker listened.”
Torres got two of the goals on Saturday, either side of Dirk Kuyt turning in a powerful Steven Gerrard haeder. We got three against the Hammers last season in this fixture, however back then we didn’t concede any.
On West Ham attacking Liverpool’s unsteady defence, The Times’ Alyson Rudd says:
“They displayed guts, defended adroitly for long periods and troubled Liverpool’s back line with the pace of Zavon Hines. The Jamaican should have given his team an early lead after he stole the ball off Jamie Carragher, who probably wondered, after this game, whether he had suddenly hit a midlife crisis.”
Steve Tongue of The Independent adds:
“Jamie Carragher, who conceded a penalty, and Martin Skrtel looked shaky for such an experienced partnership and offered West Ham some hope until the finish.”
Carragher’s first half display was distinctly lacking in the quality we’re used to from the 31-year-old defender and the imminent return of Daniel Agger could see Carragher lose his fortress at the back of Liverpool’s formation. But would that screaming voice of passion be badly missed if this was to happen?
Back to the plaudits for Torres anyway and “how about this?” says Jason Burt of The Telegraph as he collates several post-match quotes all saying the same thing:
“When he is on top of his game he is the best striker in the world. He is unstoppable,” said the West Ham defender, James Tomkins. Or how about this? “I have never seen a striker like Torres,” said the West Ham debutant Alessandro Diamanti. Or this? “It was an unbelievable goal –out of this world,” said Torres’s team-mate, Pepe Reina. Or even this simple assessment? “He is fantastic,” said Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez.
Burt continues to praise the quality and goalscoring expertise of this fantastic, fantastic striker.
“His two goals were taken with a signature flourish and although the first was the more eye-catching, the second was equally accomplished. They took his tally since arriving at Liverpool from Atletico Madrid – when his strike rate was questioned – to 55 goals in 91 matches. Phenomenal.”
The Fernando Torres Fan Club is well and truly out all over the nationals this morning and with the Spaniard seemingly back to his best after a troubled start to the campaign, here’s to hoping we can a goal feast over the next few games.