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Friday 07 February 2014

On this day in 2009: Torres strikes late to sink Pompey

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Liverpool going top with a late win at Portsmouth

  • Liverpool's match winner Fernando Torres consoles Portsmouth's Peter Crouch after late win

  • Goals from Dirk Kuyt (pictured) and Torres in the closing stages sealed Liverpool's victory

  • Pompey led 2-1 at Fratton Park after strikes from David Nugent (left) and Crouch

  • Brazilian left back Fabio Aurelio netted Liverpool's opener in a thrilling encounter

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

7 February 2009: Portsmouth 2-3 Liverpool

Substitute Fernando Torres scored a dramatic late winner to give Liverpool a win that put them back on top of the Barclays Premier League table.

Torres struck in the first minute of stoppage time to take the Reds above Manchester United at the summit of the table and make it nine League matches without a win for Portsmouth.

There were few chances in the first half although the Reds’ Fabio Aurelio hit the post before Pompey goalkeeper David James, equalling Gary Speed’s Barclays Premier League appearance record of 535 matches, had to tip a long-range Javier Mascherano shot around the post.

It was Portsmouth who took the lead in the 62nd minute when David Nugent raced on to a Peter Crouch through ball to fire the ball under Pepe Reina for his third goal in as many League matches.

Aurelio levelled seven minutes later with a fierce low free-kick, which had been awarded after James picked up a misplaced backpass from Peter Crouch.

Torres entered the fray in the 76th minute but two minutes later Liverpool were behind once more when Hermann Hreidarsson headed Nadir Belhadj’s free-kick into the ground and past Reina.

The match swung again in the 85th minute when Torres found fellow substitute Dirk Kuyt, who slammed the equaliser high into James’s net.

Torres then wrapped up the points with his eighth Barclays Premier League goal of the season when he turned in Yossi Benayoun’s cross.

“We saw the quality in the squad. We could have lost but deserved to win. Every win is an important victory, especially now that we are close to the top. I am really pleased that the lads showed they had character and played well," said Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

Portsmouth boss Tony Adams added: “We need to start picking up points. We have to fight all teams playing around us and we’ll fight all the way. Performances don’t lie and the crowd were fully supportive of the players, their workrate and performance.”

Liverpool finished the season as Barclays Premier League runners-up four points behind champions Man Utd while Pompey came 14th - seven points clear of the relegation zone.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Fernando Torres struck in stoppage time against Portsmouth