Ben Haim points finger at Torres

Tal Ben Haim has accused Fernando Torres of deliberately using his

elbow on him during Liverpool’s crushing defeat at Portsmouth on

Saturday.

Ben Haim, 27, was caught in the face by the Spain striker

during the second half of Pompey’s win and admitted he had to stay

calm to protect the lead against Rafael Benitez’s men and boost his

side’s hopes of Premier League survival.

“I thought he came with the elbow,” said the Israel

centre-back.

The former Chelsea player insists Avram Grant’s men had the

last laugh by earning their valuable win.

“At the end of the day, this challenge and other challenges

are not important,” he said.

“In the game, there are many challenges that you could say

maybe it’s yellow or maybe it’s red. It’s part of the game and you

need to continue playing.

“I don’t pay much attention to that stuff because after that

immediately you have to be focused and you don’t want to make

stupid challenges to get yourself sent off and leave your

team-mates a man down. You need to control yourself. It was good

for me to be like that.”

Ben Haim was also involved in the tackle that led to Javier

Mascherano getting a straight red card in the first half, which

Benitez felt changed the game.

“I thought that it was a good decision by the referee,” he

said. “Especially as I moved the ball when he came. It’s part of

the game so you have to take it.”

Midfielder Jamie O’Hara believes Fratton Park’s atmosphere

played a part in Liverpool’s dismal performance, along with a lack

of confidence running through Benitez’s squad.

“No one wants to come to Fratton Park,” he said. “The fans

are fantastic and over the last few weeks we’ve made it a hard

place to come.”

On Liverpool, he added: “Something maybe isn’t gelling in the

team. Maybe something isn’t quite right. They lost a couple of good

players and it’s going to be difficult to replace people like Xabi

Alonso.

“I still fancy them being up there at the end of the season

challenging for the Champions League spot because you can never

write them off.”