No Liverpool player has scored against Manchester United since Rafa Benitez’s arrival at Anfield – hence the Red Devils beating Liverpool five out of the past six times. Liverpool’s only league goal against United under the Spaniard was a John O’Shea own-goal in September 2004. However, Rafa has again shifted responsibility onto new young import Fernando Torres.
The Anfield manager declared:
“We have enjoyed plenty of possession against United and controlled games but we didn’t create much because they have good defenders and we needed to be stronger in attack. Now with Torres we have a striker with pace and ability and he will be a threat on Sunday. Manchester United know he is a good player and that we have more things we need to win this year. They know his qualities and they will be worried about him.
“I don’t know if United were really interested in him but the main thing is that he wanted to come here. I just called him and he said he wanted to come.
“Another top side offered £6m more for Torres than we did, and we knew a lot of top sides were talking about him. The difference was he knew this club and he knew the Spanish players and the Spanish staff here could help him. I had a lot of information about him and I knew the mentality of the player when we decided to sign him. It was a gamble, but not a big one because his mentality and his age were right.
“We were not thinking about him scoring 20 goals in his first season for us, we just wanted him to give us something different and to keep progressing, but maybe now he can score more than 20 goals. He is a shy boy, but he is very confident.
“We signed Torres because the situation at the club was good and hopefully in the future we can do the same things again.”
Torres came to Merseyside for a fee sneaking close to £25million. So far, he has impressed his believers, and has silenced some critics and gone a long way to justifying his transfer fee. A striker who seems to be as close to undroppable as you can while playing for Rafa Benitez, how much has he impressed the Liverpool fans?