Torres lifts Keane to net profit

Liverpool strike duo show signs that they could rival famous Anfield pairings
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The Independent Online

Keegan and Toshack, Dalglish and Rush, Keane and Torres? It is still early days but Liverpool's £43m strike pairing now have some goals to back up their belief that they can become one of Liverpool's fabled partnerships.

Prior to Saturday's Merseyside derby neither player had scored since Fernando Torres struck at Sunderland on the opening day of the domestic season, but Robbie Keane contributed to Torres' goal at Goodison Park and the Spaniard laid on the Irishman's first strike against PSV Eindhoven at Anfield on Wednesday night.

"It's like anything," said Keane yesterday. "It takes time. Things don't work out straight away but me and Fernando are linking up really well. I was involved in two goals on Saturday and he set me up tonight. It's great, but I'm just concentrating on working hard for the team and hopefully the two of us can get a lot more goals."

They should do. Both are talented players who work prodigiously hard, on and off the ball. With the attacking support Liverpool now have the pair ought to score heavily.

They will, though, have to beat better defences than those of Everton and PSV. Now Keane has, in his words, "got the monkey off my back" with his first goal, his confidence in front of goal should improve and, with it, his first touch in goalscoring areas.

"I am pleased to get that first goal out of the way, to be honest," Keane said. "It was a good ball from Fernando and I managed to get a yard on the defender and connect nicely with it."

Steven Gerrard, who achieved his own landmark with his 100th goal, added: "His [Keane's] performances have been there but a lot of people have been talking about when the first goal was going to come. I don't think that helps – it can make you a bit more nervous. But you always know that when the quality is there, the goals will come, and that's what's happened."

Keane added: "It was the same with me at Tottenham last year when I was looking for my 100th goal and it took a few games."

Keane followed his goal with his trademark cartwheel celebration but Rafael Benitez will doubtless be relieved to hear the 28-year-old will not be making a habit of that, even if the goals flow. "Last year it only came out for special occasions and obviously this was one of those," Keane said. "I always dreamt that I'd do it here at Liverpool. I've done it now, so it can go back in the box."

Liverpool and Atletico Madrid are now odds-on to qualify for the knock-out stages, with a six-point lead over Marseilles and PSV in Group D, but Liverpool know that would change dramatically should they lose the approaching home and away matches with the Spaniards.

"We have four games to play and we know from experience that it is important to go right to the end," said Benitez. "We will go to Madrid and look to win. It is very difficult in the Champions League because PSV showed quality and Marseilles are difficult away so we know we must keep our focus."

Group D

Results: PSV Eindhoven 0 Atletico Madrid 3; Marseilles 1 Liverpool 2; Liverpool 3 PSV Eindhoven 0; Atletico Madrid 2 Marseilles 1.

Liverpool's remaining group stage fixtures: 22 Oct: Atletico Madrid (a); 4 Nov: Atletico Madrid (h); 26 Nov: Marseilles (h); 9 Dec: PSV Eindhoven (a).

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