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Barclays Premier League

Anfield (ATT 43,524) 15th March 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Marriner

Liverpool Liverpool vs Reading Reading

Torres sees off Royals

Last Updated: 15/03/08 6:13pm

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Mascherano celebrates the equaliser

Mascherano celebrates the equaliser

Liverpool consolidated their place in fourth spot with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Reading at Anfield.

The Reds came from behind to take all three points after Marek Matejovsky gave Reading an early lead with a superbly-taken goal.

Liverpool levelled matters on 19 minutes with Javier Mascherano netting his first goal for the club with a superb strike.

Fernando Torres grabbed the winner for Liverpool three minutes into the second half when he headed home Steven Gerrard's free-kick for his 20th Premier League goal of the campaign.

The win moves Liverpool three points clear of local rivals Everton in the race for fourth, while Reading find themselves back in trouble at the wrong end of the table

Reading stunned their hosts with an exceptional goal after a free-kick wide on the left for Arbeloa's foul on Stephen Hunt.

Opener

John Oster guided the ball across the edge of the penalty area and the unmarked Matejovsky smashed a swerving volley into the top corner off the crossbar with Jose Reina motionless.

Liverpool's response was a fine ball from Gerrard that sent Torres away but Hahnemann rushed from his line to make a fine block on the edge of the box.

It was going to take something special to match Matejovsky's effort and it came from Mascherano, only the second goal of his first-team career with Corinthians, River Plate, West Ham and now Liverpool.

The Argentina international gained possession 40 yards out and surged forward to lash the ball high past Hahnemann into the top right-hand corner.

Liverpool almost scored again when Mascherano's sweeping ball out to Babel set the Dutch youngster moving and he cut in before lashing an angled drive that Hahnemann beat away.

Babel's diving header from Gerrard's cross a minute later was rightly ruled out for offside before Dirk Kuyt hooked over Arbeloa's cross on the turn.

Alonso, from 30 yards, almost put Liverpool ahead a minute from the break but the hosts struck soon after half-time.

Header
Torres was brought down out on the left after 48 minutes and when Gerrard lifted the free-kick into the box the Spain striker rose unchallenged to head down and wide of Hahnemann.

Kuyt headed just over from Fabio Aurelio's cross before Hunt, not surprisingly, got himself booked for yet another foul on Arbeloa.

Torres' crossfield ball sent Babel away on the left and the winger side-stepped three defenders before blasting his shot over the top.

Reading then took off Long, sending on Dave Kitson after 63 minutes. The Irish striker was far from impressed, hurling his shirt onto the track before being reprimanded by a clearly angry Reading boss Steve Coppell for his action.

Hahnemann then saved well to beat out an Aurelio drive with Torres heading the rebound just wide.

Andre Bikey was next into the book for a foul on Gerrard and the Cameroon international became involved in a heated exchange with the Liverpool captain and referee Andre Marriner before the yellow card was shown.

Reading threw everything forward and there was loud appeals for a penalty when Gerrard charged down a Kitson shot in injury-time but Liverpool held on.width="100%">

LiverpoolTeam StatisticsReading
2Goals1
11st Half Goals1
7Shots on Target1
14Shots off Target4
3Blocked Shots2
7Corners2
7Fouls23
1Offsides1
0Yellow Cards5
0Red Cards0
74.5Passing Success67.4
26Tackles21
80.8Tackles Success52.4
61Possession39
54.7Territorial Advantage45.3

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 11 29
2 Southampton 11 25
3 Manchester City 11 21
4 West Ham United 11 18
5 Swansea City 11 18
6 Arsenal 11 17
7 Manchester United 11 16
8 Newcastle United 11 16
9 Stoke City 11 15
10 Everton 11 14
11 Liverpool 11 14
12 Tottenham Hotspur 11 14
13 West Bromwich Albion 11 13
14 Sunderland 11 12
15 Hull City 11 11
16 Aston Villa 11 11
17 Crystal Palace 11 9
18 Leicester City 11 9
19 Queens Park Rangers 11 8
20 Burnley 11 7

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