Brilliant Torres downs Chelsea, City and Newcastle win

Monday, November 8, 2010

LONDON - Fernando Torres scored twice as Liverpool beat league leaders Chelsea 2-0 Sunday, while Manchester City beat West Bromwich Albion by the same score.

The defeat cuts Chelsea’s lead at the top to two points over Manchester United, with City a further three points behind.

Arsenal missed the chance to close the gap, and are also five points back, after they lost at home to Newcastle United.

For Liverpool, this was a fourth straight win, and easily their most impressive display since Roy Hodgson took charge at the start of the season, their return to form coinciding with that of Torres.

“We were not good enough at the start of the season,” said Torres.

“But we thought from the beginning we needed time to work with a new manager and new players.

“Now we have to show against the teams in the middle of the table, or teams who are not as good as Chelsea, we can play this way - with this intensity and quality.”

Torres, whose assist for Maxi Rodriguez at Bolton last week hinted he was edging back towards his best, struck after 11 minutes, seizing on Dirk Kuyt’s pass, beating Alex and firing past Petr Cech.

Having been the victim of a disgraceful challenge from an unpunished John Terry just before half-time, Torres responded in the perfect manner with a quite brilliant goal, beating Alex and then curling home an audacious finish.

Didier Drogba was introduced for Salomon Kalou at half-time, and immediately Chelsea went on the offensive.

As Liverpool struggled to get out of their own half, Ramires headed just over, and Florent Malouda forced a superb reaction save from Pepe Reina.

Cech then made an even better one to prevent Kuyt making it 3-0, before Reina pushed a Nicolas Anelka shot into the bar, Jamie Carragher just preventing Drogba getting to the rebound.

“Liverpool played very well and at 2-0 down it was difficult to come back in the game,” said Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti.

“Torres played very well today and scored two fantastic goals.

“To come here and lose can happen - Liverpool are a good team - but we have to be positive, we played a fantastic game in the second half.”

Mario Balotelli scored both goals and was sent off as Manchester City beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at the Hawthorns.

Carlos Tevez, running onto a reverse ball from David Silva, laid on the first after 20 minutes, and a floated pass from Silva created the second, as Balotelli turned Nicky Shorey before finishing.

The other side of his character was seen 16 minutes into the second half as he wrestled Youssuf Mulumbu to the ground and seemed to aim a kick at him.

“I was trying to sub Balotelli for Adam Johnson to stop him getting sent off, but I did not have time,” admitted City coach Roberto Mancini.

Mulumbu, having been booked for his part in the tangle, was then sent off after collecting a second yellow for a bad foul on Tevez.

Arsenal’s hopes of challenging for the Premier League titled suffered a severe blow on Sunday as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Newcastle United.

“We did not look sharp and we never found any sharpness,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. “We never found the second gear.”

Andy Carroll, following further tabloid revelations about his private life, scored the only goal a minute before half-time getting to a Joey Barton free-kick before goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

“He is still learning the game, heis getting better,” said Newcastle manager Chris Hughton.

“Andy has had his ups and downs and he gets bullied at times, all of these things, but he is certainly going in the right direction.”

Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott both hit the bar, and it took a spectacular save from Tim Krul to keep out a Samir Nasri drive, but Arsenal never created any sustained pressure and had Laurent Koscielny sent off for a professional foul in injury-time.

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