Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has revealed he's released Steven Gerrard from his defensive duties in central midfield.

The Reds skipper is clearly relishing the fact two holding midfielders allow him to bomb forward.

Benitez admitted: "Stevie now has the same freedom he had as a right winger, when he came inside.

"He's enjoying it because he knows he can go forward with no problem as he has the two behind him.

"The understanding with Torres is very good. They bring the best out of each other - you could see that with the second goal.

"With the freedom he has now, and the quality going forward, he is unstoppable. His understanding with those around him is very good."

Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan is certain Gerrard's best days still lie ahead. He added: "When I used to see kids with Gerrard on the back of their shirts, I used to say to the mum and dad, 'Good role model for your kid'.

"He's not just a good player but carries the burden of responsibility in other areas very well. I am a big fan of his. And I think there's more to come, definitely. He is 27, still young and is going to get better.

"He is outstanding at the moment but his best years are still to come."