Benitez vows to stay at Anfield

Rafa Benitez pledged to stay at Liverpool after Fernando Torres gave his side a barely-deserved 1-0 win over Sunderland in their Premier League opener on Saturday.

The Spanish manager saw his side outplayed by Standard Liege in a UEFA Champions League qualifier on Wednesday, then had to read reports that he was considering his future in the aftermath of his dispute with the club's hierarchy over the failed attempt to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.

But Benitez is adamant he has no intention of walking away from Anfield. "I am not thinking of leaving," he insisted.

"My commitment with the club, the fans and the players is so big that just because I can be disappointed about different things I won't stop trying my best to achieve all of the targets that we have established as a team."

Although Liverpool were poor for long spells at the Stadium of Light, Torres showed his predatory instincts to end the week on a high note.

He had seen his strike partner, Robbie Keane, accidently block his goal-bound effort in the second half, but the former Atletico Madrid player was not discouraged and rifled home from 20 yards in the 83rd minute.

In a pointed reminder to Liverpool's directors, Benitez emphasised the value of big-money signings like Torres. "Torres is a key player and he can change games," he said.

"With strikers you talk about goals but he was working really hard against their centre-backs. It is important for the team to have this type of player."