Ben Haim makes Torres claim

Pompey defender unhappy with striker's challenge

Ben Haim and Torres battle it out

Tal Ben Haim has accused Fernando Torres of leading with his elbow when challenging him in Portsmouth's win over Liverpool on Saturday.

The Israeli centre-half enjoyed a fine game in helping his side keep a clean sheet but was in the wars, as first Javier Mascherano was red carded for a crunching tackle on him, before Torres appeared to catch him with an elbow.

Ben Haim admitted he had to stay calm to protect the lead against Rafa Benitez's men and boost his side's hopes of Premier League survival.

"I thought he came with the elbow," he conceded.

The former Chelsea player insists Avram Grant's men had the last laugh by earning their valuable win.

Last laugh

"At the end of the day this challenge and other challenges are not important," he said.

"In the game there are many challenges that you could say maybe it's yellow or maybe it's red. It's part of the game and you need to continue playing.

"I don't pay much attention to that stuff because after that immediately you have to be focused and you don't want to make stupid challenges to get yourself sent off and leave your team-mates a man down. You need to control yourself. It was good for me to be like that."

Ben Haim was also involved in the tackle that led to Mascherano getting a straight red card in the first half, which Benitez felt changed the game.

"I thought that it was a good decision by the referee," he said.

"Especially as I moved the ball when he came. It's part of the game so you have to take it."