Liverpool 3-0 Sunderland

BY foxsports • March 28, 2010

Fernando Torres scored a classy brace as Liverpool breezed to a 3-0 win over Sunderland at Anfield to stay in the race for a top-four finish.

With not a beach ball in sight, Torres set the tone with a world-class opener (3), before Glen Johnson (32) added a deflected second to cap a dominant first-half display.

Torres then bagged a well-taken second (60) to seal the victory as the Reds moved back above Manchester City into fifth and four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham having played a game more.

The Reds went on the attack from first whistle to last and the only surprise by full-time was that the Reds had been limited to just three goals.

Rafa Benitez's side made a fantastic start when Torres picked up Jose Reina's long punt forward on the left wing before cutting inside and curling an unbelievable effort into the top right-hand corner from 20 yards.

Liverpool continued to press with Javier Mascherano going close with two drives from distance, while Torres almost finished off a slick move for the second, but the Spaniard could not wrap up his foot around the ball.

Another fine move saw Steven Gerrard burst forward and blast a shot just wide, while Daniel Agger's poke was just off target as the hosts bombarded the visitors' goal.

Craig Gordon then made an instinctive save to deny Maxi Rodriguez his first goal for the club, but it soon became 2-0 when the Black Cats made hard work of clearing a left-wing corner and Johnson drilled home from just outside the area with his left foot - his shot taking a slight deflection off Michael Turner's thigh en route to goal.

Torres then struck a post before blasting the follow-up wide as a one-sided first half drew to a close.

The Reds started where they left off after the break with Ryan Babel drilling a shot just over and John Mensah making a good block to deny Torres.

But Torres made the points safe on the hour-mark when he coolly dinked a shot past Gordon after Johnson's pass had picked him out 12 yards from goal.

The win keeps the Reds firmly in the hunt for fourth, while Sunderland - who came closest to scoring in injury-time when Reina denied former Red Bolo Zenden with a fine low save - remain 13th.

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