Back in a bit with the match recap...but of course it was Torres.
A result that we had to get, and probably shouldn't have to be this excited about getting it. For the first 70 minutes we couldn't get much going, and in the final 30 we pull it off. Some problems masked by the win, and Portsmouth certainly helped us out. However it happened, 3 points won, and doom and gloom for Portsmouth.
FULL TIME What a fight back! Down 1-0, 2-1, unbelievable. I'm not prone to hyperbole, but that could be pivotal moment for Liverpool. Fantastic finish.
93' 5 goals in the second half. How did this happen? Added time is up, Reina receives...should be it...
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL Torres with the header after great work on the side by Mascherano and Benayoun!!! Unreal stuff! Traveling Kop is rocking!
90' 3 minutes of added time as James pounces again. A little sloppy at this point.
88' Portsmouth trying to maintain possession, pace slowed a bit. Hreidarsson blows a gasket after arguing the goal kick decision. He was right, but Howard Webb was not having it. Headbutt looked imminent.
86' Looking at a fantastic finish here, wide open now.
GOAL Dirk Kuyt that son of a bitch! Distin blows it, but great strike at the near post by Kuyt. I hate him so much. What a hit though, momentum completely shifted!
83' Mascherano is a nick away from being free on goal after a great ball by Torres.
82' James smartly charges and clears when Benayoun looked to have a chance. At the other end Nugent lays off to Crouch, who forces a corner. Another set piece. Not good.
81' Replay shows that Carra was guarding a ghost. We need a goal.
80' Well ten minutes left, and Jon Champion's shouts of "Yeeeeeeeeeeeessss" will now haunt my dreams.
GOAL Another goal conceded from a set piece, Hreidersson is unmarked and heads in. Perfect.
75' Kuyt finishes well after being freed and is ruled offside, probably rightly so. Torres on for Babel, and the traveling Kop immediately ramps it up.
74' Benayoun into the box, breaks out wide and is dispossessed. Torres is shown getting instructions on the side. Finally.
73' Nugent forcefully gets tangled with Skrtel, free kick to Portsmouth. Howard Webb has a poor sense of justice. Nervy stuff in the box, but cleared out nonetheless.
71' Alonso immediately making an impact, spreading the ball around, contrasted with Babel, who likes to dribble.
GOAL Fabio Aurelio with the blast! Not an easy take either, through Crouch and past Kranjcar with about 15 people running at him. At least one of our strikers is committed to our goal-scoring efforts. Well, not ours anymore, but still.
68' Bless you Peter Crouch for trying to gift us a goal...and now a free kick in the box, damn near on the penalty spot.
67' Xabi on for Dossena, Fabio likely to move to wingback, Torres probably tucking his hair behind his ears.
66' Babel gets the ball in the middle, has Dossena streaking on the left side, decides to dribble in a circle and bring the ball back out to midfield.
64' Jon Champion is referencing the Babel miss like it's going to the defining moment of his career.
GOAL Crouch does well to free up Nugent, who finishes confidently. Doesn't take long for Benitez to come under fire. Torres on immediately? Oh, check that, we have Kuyt and Babel.
59' "No better chance missed up and down the country this afternoon." Unspeakable. How? Benayoun creates it, Kuyt does well to get it across, Babel strengthens his need for witness protection if this thing ends 0-0.
57' Dirk Kuyt is on to rave reviews from the announcers--"Oh, dear" and "he gives industry, but predictable industry." Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
55' Agger hands the ball unintentionally, and Webb waves off two penalty shouts in two minutes.
53' Torres is shown on the sidelines compulsive playing with his hair. In the meantime, couple of half chances for Liverpool, N'Gog did well but couldn't get a shot off. Appeals for hand ball are shot down by Howard Webb, who is the frontrunner for referee most likely to cave in someone's chest with a headbutt.
52' Going against better judgment, Basinas didn't lean into a razor during the half, but floats in a free kick that Sol Campbell just misses getting a boot to.
49' Good work again by N'Gog to win a free kick in a not-so-dangerous-but-not-so-safe-area...headed away by Distin for a Liverpool corner.
48' Mascherano is blown over by a gale-force wind and gets the free kick. Classy.
46' N'Gog does have a pulse, good footwork leads to a corner...and nothing of it.
46' Looks like Kranjcar is on for Portsmouth, no changes for the Reds.
Costigan just interpreted the "cryptic" 1-0 hand gesture as Nugent taunting the Liverpool fans about the midweek loss to Everton. Nothing like living vicariously through another team.
Well, it's not the worst of halves, the teams could have stood still for 45 minutes. At times both teams have created some positive chances, but I can't say that either keeper has been tested. N'Gog was pretty anonymous, and didn't see too much of Babel. Benayoun was wormy in a good way, and Masch actually looked somewhat competent in possession and forced James into a decent save. Aurelio has done well in the midfield role and had our best chance on the free kick off the upright. Just an unremarkable half. Looking to see Torres early in the second half to put a little more pressure on Portsmouth's back line, which, according to the announcers, has been playing like their parents just got divorced. They've looked fine today, but then again we haven't had many chances outside of a Benayoun shimmy or two.
HALFTIME Well...it's halftime.
42' You could say end-to-end stuff right now, but it's more edge of the box-to-edge of the box, neither side can maintain possession in the final third.
40' Good posession by Portsmouth, luckily Nugent was offside. Gotta love four guys standing still with their arms in the air while someone runs by them.
37' Nugent again, who's been the most threatening for Portsmouth, gets Crouch a chance on the half-volley that sails over.
36' Possession has swung to Portsmouth's favor, but luckily they seem to have possession-induced impotence as well.
33' And the travelling fans start singing the Torres song. Gotta feel good for N'Gog, who has been wearing central defenders as backpacks most of the match.
28' Basinas with a well-struck free kick that isn't too difficult for Reina. Movement towards the other end leads to Basinas/Agger challenge, with Basinas staying down. Surprised Agger didn't get the worst in that challenge.
26' Nice moves by Mascherano and a quality hit that looks like it may have sailed wide, but James doesn't take any chances. Corner and clearance leads to a nice "I thought you said you were gonna take it" moment between Dossena and Skrtel.
23' Quick little kicks by Dossena surprisingly aren't an effective defensive strategy. Tony Adams goes from homeless to colorblind in less than 24 hours, quite a statement with that scarf/shirt/tie combination.
22' Corner by Aurelio leads to a bit of a scrum, Skrtel is able to push it towards goal, but not much to be done.
19' Nice flick on by Crouch to Nugent, who wins a free kick...Basinas looks to take, and my god that hairstyle is strong. What a hero. Ends up being Sean Davis, who puts a little too much on it.
17' Nice little move to get a chance for Aurelio, who pulls it wide. I think we have the speed in attack, but finishing might leave us wanting a bit today...
16' The more I see Dossena the more I think he might be blind in one eye, at least when it's time to cross.
15' Nice one-two from Aurelio and Dossena, threatening ball in is cleared, and Babel calls for fair catch.
13' Aurelio free kick leads to...a clearance! As promised, breathless, refined stuff in the first quarter of an hour. Well, depends on who you're asking.
10' Nice work by Benayoun to hold off Davis to win a free kick...and Aurelio hits it well but shaves the edge of the upright. Would have loved to see Babel come flailing in and hit it into the 30th row.
8' Good movement by Liverpool gets a chance for Benayoun, who looks like he lost footing on the shot. Encouraging enough.
6' Good work again by Nugent but leaves it slightly behind Crouch who puts it towards goal, and then places his knee firmly into Pepe's kidney. Nothing like a little blood in the urine between old friends.
3' Basinas has one of the strangest hairstyles I've seen...it's like the front row of hair missed the fact that the rest of the hairline receded. Skrtel gets forwards awkwardly enough, but is incapable of falling over at the slightest touch from behind near the box. Strange how that works.
0' We're off! Babel's arms sometimes look like they only have loose hinges at the shoulders, every cutback he makes leads to a flurry of limbs.
**Just kidding, now it's a 3-4-2-1. Something tells me it's not going to be too rigid today.
**Not to be snarky, but how long are we going to see montages of Robbie Keane's goals before games like it happened all the time?
**So the starry graphic on FSC has laid it out as a 3-4-1-2. Dossena may run straight up Aurelio's back at some point today.
**Soon-to-be homeless Tony Adams against the crazy like a fox (or crazy like this guy) Rafa Benitez.
**Fox Soccer Match Day just showed pieces of Tony Adams' press conference. Disheveled, unshaven, possibly just out of bed. Something about that is kind of refreshing, although I kept waiting for him to sneak a drink out a flask in between questions.