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Sunday 17 December 2017

Torres: my best has yet to come

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has warned defenders throughout Europe that there is still plenty of room for improvement in his game.

The Spain international struck twice in yesterday's 3-0 win over Sunderland, scoring a brilliant opener with his smartly taken second, making it 18 goals in 21 Barclays Premier League appearances.

Glen Johnson's deflected shot came in between those two strikes, as Liverpool could easily have run out winners by six or seven goals, such was their dominance, especially in a thrilling first-half performance.

But, the talk was all about Torres' third-minute goal, when he whipped in a shot from the left angle of the penalty area, which went over Black Cats goalkeeper Craig Gordon and perfectly found the far top corner of the net.

The 25-year-old has now scored 56 times in 77 Premier League appearances, and 70 in 113 outings for Liverpool, but believes the best is yet to come.

"I think I've scored better goals, but I hope the best are still to come," he said.

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"The main thing is we keep enjoying our football and keep scoring goals.

"I got my goals because the team is playing really well, giving me good assists. We'll keep enjoying and keep scoring -- that's my job.

"We have six games to play and must be as strong away as we are at home now. We can beat anyone."

Manager Rafael Benitez paid tribute to the quality of Torres' strikes.

"(The first goal was) one of Fernando's better goals, but also, with the second one, sometimes it is not just a good strike but to do the right thing at the right moment," he said. "For me, both goals were good."

The win ensured Liverpool kept up the pressure on fourth-placed Tottenham, whom they still trail by four points having played one match more.

And despite all the off-field talk about the owners, investors and potential new signings, Benitez said securing Champions League football next season must remain the priority.

"At this moment, the main thing for all of us is to try to play well and win games, and we will be closer to the top four," said the Reds boss.

Danger

"We know we have to keep going. You can see the players have confidence and if we play at this level, we will win more games for sure.

"That is the best way for the manager, the staff and players to move forward, so we will try.

"We are working behind the scenes to improve things for the future, but now it is best to concentrate on football."

Sunderland were never in danger of ending a winless streak at Anfield, which stands at 12 matches, and they have now not scored on their last six visits -- a drought of 616 minutes.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was honest enough to admit his side had been totally out-played.

"Sometimes, you just have to hold your hands up and say you were beaten by a far better team," he said.

"They got off to a wonderful start, and when Torres and Steven Gerrard are in the mood, then it becomes very difficult.

"We all know Torres is a class act when he plays like that. He is a fantastic centre-forward and he'll take some stopping."

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