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Torres brilliance gives Liverpool final day cheer

SoccerNews in English Premier League 11 May 2008


Liverpool ended their eventful English Premier League season on a high note with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Second-half goals from Andriy Voronin and Fernando Torres won the game for Rafael Benitez's team in a match that was most notable for the fact that it could be the last game for many players of both clubs.

The result extinguished any hopes Spurs had of leapfrogging West Ham into tenth place, but the home fans appeared to be satisfied after enduring a torrid start to the campaign.

Benitez sprang a surprise before kick-off, handing Argentinian defender Emiliano Insua his first start of the season but there were no places for Peter Crouch or Jermaine Pennant.

There was also a surprise in the stands as two key figures in Liverpool's ongoing boardroom power struggle, chief executive Rick Parry and American co-owner George Gillett, were seen sat next to each other.

The visitors were the first to muster an attempt when Voronin connected with a Steven Gerrard free-kick but the Ukranian's header was caught comfortably by Radek Cerny.

Dimitar Berbatov demonstrated why Spurs fans are desperate to see him stay at the club when he received the ball with his back to goal before flicking it into the air and delivering a back-heeled cross which just evaded Robbie Keane's lunge.

The Bulgaria striker came even closer ten minutes later when he rose to head Jamie O'Hara's left-wing corner but 'Pool goalkeeper Pepe Reina dived full length to tip the ball around the post.

However, the flurry of activity was short-lived as the game settled back into a slow-paced battle of attrition with little ambition being displayed by either team.

The Merseyside visitors started the second-half strongly and should have scored through Spain striker Torres.

Captain Gerrard made a typical driving run through the midfield before finding Torres with a fortuitous touch but the club's leading scorer was foiled by a world-class save from Cerny.

The home team were stung into action and twice went close through a Keane shot and a cross which bisected Berbatov and Reina.

Spurs winger Steed Malbranque found himself in space at the far post but the ball wouldn't drop quickly enough for him and defender Alvaro Arbeloa managed to block the effort.

Therefore it was against the run of play when the visitors took the lead in the 69th minute.

Arbeloa played a hopeful long pass which Spurs defender Michael Dawson failed to deal with leaving Voronin on his own to bundle the ball into the goal.

The Reds had their goalkeeper to thank two minutes later as he pulled off a sensational save to keep out Berbatov's viscous volley.

The result was effectively sealed in the 73rd minute through a superb goal from the talismanic Torres.

There appeared to be little danger when the former Athletico Madrid forward collected the ball in the left channel but he mesmerised Dawson with a dummy before poking the ball past Cerny to claim his 24th league goal of the season.

Things almost got worse for the home team when defender Alan Hutton inexplicable aimed a header towards his own goal but his blushes were spared by Cerny's excellent save.


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