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Liverpool boss Benitez insists Torres selection was no gamble

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez insists he wasn't gambling by starting Fernando Torres in yesterday's victory over Manchester United.

Torres had been struggling with a groin injury in the lead up, but turned in a super goal scoring performance on the day.

Benitez denied it was risky to utilise his talismanic striker from the beginning.

He said: "Fernando had just two light training sessions ahead of the game. We could not push him too hard, he was working with the fitness coach to be sure he was not a risk. But we knew he was not 100%, but he was not a risk. In the end we decided to use him."

With four Premier League defeats already this term - two more than in the whole of last season - Liverpool needed to win to keep their title hopes alive.

And Benitez hopes the result can be the catalyst for the remainder of the campaign after confounding their critics.

He added: "We needed to win for our confidence, and it will be a big boost for the team because the win was against such a good team. The fans are elated, and all the players are in the same mood. You have to be positive in football, you have to be ready.

"Our players are good players. People talked before the game that we were not, but I know that is wrong. We have many players injured, that is the problem. When they are fit we can be a problem for anyone. And the rest of the team will support them.

"For me the difference is that the team was working so hard to help the strikers. Hopefully that win will now kick-start our season. I am sure we have a team good enough to win many games in a row.

"The players just did not want to lose. They wanted to win, to show character, and this was the perfect response from them."

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