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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.


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.

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
11st Half Goals1
7Shots on Target1
14Shots off Target4
3Blocked Shots2
0Yellow Cards5
0Red Cards0
74.5Passing Success67.4
80.8Tackles Success52.4
54.7Territorial Advantage45.3

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 38 87
2 Manchester City 38 79
3 Arsenal 38 75
4 Manchester United 38 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 64
6 Liverpool 38 62
7 Southampton 38 60
8 Swansea City 38 56
9 Stoke City 38 54
10 Crystal Palace 38 48
11 Everton 38 47
12 West Ham United 38 47
13 West Bromwich Albion 38 44
14 Leicester City 38 41
15 Newcastle United 38 39
16 Sunderland 38 38
17 Aston Villa 38 38
18 Hull City 38 35
19 Burnley 38 33
20 Queens Park Rangers 38 30