Liverpool 2 // Chelsea 0
Liverpool Torres 11’, 45’ Man of the match Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool)
LIVERPOOL //After a miserable autumn, Fernando Torres lit up a wintry afternoon at Anfield by reasserting his scoring abilities in spectacular fashion, scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
Torres's first-half double inflicted only a second league defeat on Chelsea, the leaders, and took his tally to seven in eight games against the Londoners.
Only three weeks earlier Torres had cut a disaffected figure in a Merseyside derby defeat that left Liverpool in the bottom three.
Yet he has revived along with Liverpool - providing a goal and an assist respectively in wins against Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers - prior to his starring role in a third-consecutive win that lifted Liverpool up to ninth.
A happy Roy Hodgson said: "Today we had the quality of Fernando Torres and that won us the game alongside a very disciplined and organised performance."
Dirk Kuyt, back in the team after injury, was the architect of Torres's opener after 11 minutes. Spotting the Spaniard drifting into space between John Terry and Ashley Cole, he lifted a perfect through pass and Torres fired past Petr Cech.
Chelsea, missing the injured Michael Essien, played too slowly in the first half, according to Carlo Ancelotti, their coach, and in the 45th minute, Torres made it two.
Cole's attempted forward surge was stopped in the centre circle by Raul Meireles and the Portugal midfielder found Torres on the left corner of the box. Branislav Ivanovic blocked the route to goal, but the Spaniard stepped inside and unleashed a wonderful curling shot into the far corner. "Every day I am feeling better and improving every day," Torres said afterwards.
Didier Drogba, starting on the bench because of an overnight fever, replaced Salomon Kalou for the second half and Chelsea laid siege to Liverpool's goal.
Ramires headed over from Cole's cross, then Yury Zhirkov drew a near-post stop from Pepe Reina. On 66 minutes, Florent Malouda fired Drogba's low cross too close to Reina, who saved superbly.
There was one last let-off for Liverpool as Nicolas Anelka's shot bounced off Reina and hit the bar. If Maxi Rodriguez had tried to score rather than dive over Cech's challenge in the last minute, Liverpool might have had a third but the Kop were not complaining.