Torres fires Liverpool to victory

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From the BBC News Desk

Fernando Torres caps a fine display with a hat-trick as Liverpool beat Reading 4-2 in the Carling Cup.

Yossi Benayoun fired Liverpool ahead, but Bobby Convey volleyed an equaliser from Nicky Shorey's corner.

Torres raced clear to score but again Reading hit back when another Shorey corner was prodded in by John Halls.

But Torres made sure of their place in the fourth round when he slammed home from a John Arne Riise square ball and then ran clear before slotting home.

Despite both sides making a host of changes there was no doubting the importance of the game as they combined to produce an entertaining and competitive encounter.

But Torres' all-round contribution and sublime finishing skills proved the difference between the Premier League sides and will have sent out a warning to their domestic rivals.

It was the perfect response after being left on the bench by manager Rafael Benitez against Birmingham at the weekend.

Reading caused problems for Liverpool's backline from the start, with Leroy Lita guilty of missing a glorious early chance when he headed Halls' cross straight at the Reds' debutant keeper Charles Itandje.

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