On this day: Liverpool buy Benitez time

Liverpool
Fernando Torres

Liverpool put an end to a poor run of results, beating Manchester United 2-0, to ease the pressure on Rafael Benitez.

Liverpool were under serious pressure to perform on home soil after enduring their worst sequence of results since 1987.

They had lost four in succession across all competitions and it was rumoured that Benitez could get the boot if they fell to another defeat at the hands of bitter rivals United.

The Red Devils sat top of the table and were seven points clear of Liverpool after winning seven of their nine outings.

Indeed, United fans were in party mode and brought along beach balls to poke fun at Liverpool following their defeat to Sunderland the week prior.

But they wouldn’t be laughing at full-time as Liverpool put in a controlled, dominant performance to get their season back on track.

Fernando Torres had been one of the few shining lights during a drab period for the club and he proved to be the hero once again.

The Spain international hit his ninth goal of the season to edge Liverpool ahead with 65 minutes on the clock.

He shrugged off Rio Ferdinand before unleashing an unstoppable effort high beyond United stop Edwin van der Sar in front of the Kop.

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It looked like Liverpool were set to edge a 1-0 win, with just a minute of normal time to play, but there was still plenty more drama to come.

Nemanja Vidic was sent off for the third successive time against Liverpool in the 89th minute after he was shown a second yellow for a challenge on Dirk Kuyt.

Javier Mascherano then joined him by heading down the tunnel early just a minute later for a similar offence on Van der Sar.

David Ngog had the final say, as United pressed forward, after the French striker finished with aplomb when latching on to Lucas Leiva’s pass.

Ultimately, United would go on to finish second, one point shy of champions Chelsea, while Liverpool had to settle for seventh spot as Benitez left Anfield by “mutual consent”.

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