Rafa has fourth in sight

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez will sleep easier now after Fernando Torres’ 93rd minute goal beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Villa Park last night in a crucial Premier League clash.

The Reds are now 4 points behind fourth placed Tottenham with half a season to go. Liverpool’s next league opponents are Spurs, at Anfield. Expect many more twists and turns in this adventure yet!

And Benitez was delighted to have a second successive win under the belt as the Reds ended 2009 on a high.

He said, “We knew we had to win to reduce the gap. The team was working hard and you could see how everyone was together.”

Torres’ goal means he is the fastest ever Liverpool player to reach 50 league goals, achieving the feat in just 72 games.

Benitez added, “I’m really pleased for Fernando, for the team and for the club. After this game it’s easier because everyone’s happier.

“We’ve talked about the squad. Players like Gerrard, Torres, Carra, Mascherano – they all played so well last year and if they do the same we can do well.

“We were playing a team with a lot of confidence. We had to work hard and play well. The conditions were really bad but little by little we controlled possession. We made some mistakes but tried to win the game from beginning to end.”

Liverpool now face Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday, 2nd January 2010. The game is live on ITV 1 (UK).