Liverpool hopes on Torres
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is hopeful the imminent return of Fernando Torres will help his side get over the 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur that ended their unbeaten start to the season.
Spurs lifted themselves off the bottom of the English Premier League table by coming back from behind to defeat Benitez's side, who had spurned a number of game-clinching chances following Dirk Kuyt's third-minute opener.
Defeat saw Liverpool deprived of top spot in the table on goal difference by Chelsea, who earlier Saturday thrashed Sunderland 5-0.
The Reds hit the woodwork three times but left White Hart Lane with nothing to show for such supremacy after Jamie Carragher's own goal levelled the score and allowed Spurs substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko the platform to win the game in stoppage-time.
Liverpool entertain Atletico Madrid at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and star striker Torres's anticipated recovery from a hamstring injury should secure a place on the bench against his former team at the very least.
"I can't believe we lost that game, it's as simple as that," Benitez said. "We had four clear chances in the second half but you have to take your chances. We could have easily have been 4-0 up after 60 minutes.
"We knew we'd have to score the second goal. If we'd scored that they were beaten but with just one goal they had the belief that they could score. They didn't win, we lost.
"Hopefully Fernando will be back for Tuesday. If he cannot start he will maybe be on the bench," Benitez said of his fellow Spaniard. "After such a game you have to be disappointed but we have another important game on Tuesday. This is a bad result but we have to start thinking about the next match, keep going and playing the same way."
The victory capped a remarkable first week in charge for Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who left Portsmouth after Juande Ramos was sacked. Spurs beat Bolton 2-0 in his first game and then came back from 4-2 down to claim a 4-4 draw away to north London rivals Arsenal on Wednesday with two goals in the final two minutes.
Redknapp admitted fortune had smiled upon him once again. "We rode our luck at times for sure, he said. "But we kept going and if you do that and don't give up you get your rewards."
The introduction of Pavlyuchenko at half-time had been a tactical change as Darren Bent had made little impact up front on his own with Luka Modric playing off him. But Redknapp said he had given only the most basic instructions to the Russia forward, who speaks little English and uses an interpreter in the dressing room.
"I just said to him at half-time 'just run about'," he said. "That's the truth. I can't claim to be tactically cleverer than that. That's all I said to him. To put himself about a bit. If he could. Please."
Redknapp was being modest as he can take immense credit for transforming a side that simply would not have believed victory was possible under Ramos, whose own English was limited and who also often turned to a translator.
"I have just got in amongst them, talked to them and tried to be a part of them," Redknapp said. "I have encouraged them. I have always said everything in life is about confidence.
"I am going to play golf tomorrow (Sunday) and if I go to the first tee and play a bad shot the chances are I will have a bad round. If I can hit a good shot then my confidence will be high and football is the same.
"It is better to keep telling people what they can do well rather than what they can't do well. That's all I'm trying to do with them," the boss added. "I said at half-time 'look lads, we are 1-0 down, you can't tell me we haven't got enough ability in this dressing room to score ourselves. We are still in the game'.
"We conceded a goal after two minutes and I thought 'My God, we are in trouble here today' because when they get in front it is difficult to get anything out of Liverpool.
"But I put a bit of belief in them to keep going and that's what they did."