Liverpool's Torres swoops for stunning hat-trick

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres struck a hat-trick as they saw off a courageous Middlesbrough 3-2 at Anfield.

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Torres has become the first Liverpool forward for five years to reach the 20-goal mark in a season, and his treble ended Middlesbrough's brave resistance.

Tuncay Sanli headed Boro ahead early on and Stewart Downing got their second after 83 minutes, but in between Torres struck three times to clinch victory.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was more than pleased with the Spain striker's contribution, saying: "It is not easy for a foreign player to come into the English league and settle straight away.

"But he has done that so well. He has power and pace, he can kill defenders with his pace.

"He has proved to be a great signing. Last summer we had 10 names we were considering, then it was down to three. But we went for Fernando because he was hungry and had the style to handle the Premier League.

"It is difficult to score 20 goals for anyone in a season, but he has done that well before the end of the campaign. Everything is possible now for him as he progresses in the game here."

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