Liverpool's greatest PL goal: The case for Fernando Torres

There are many within football who will tell you that the best players – the genuine elite-level players – have an ability to make the most difficult things look utterly simplistic.

It’s about giving an appearance of making something seem effortless to the point of almost total nonchalance.

It’s about contradicting the sheer talent and skill that’s required to pull something off in the midst of on-field battle and doing so without giving the appearance of even breaking sweat in the process.

And often it happens in a split second, in the blink of an eye.

Such a moment occurred on Saturday April 11, 2009.

At approximately 12.51pm on a glorious spring afternoon in Liverpool - somewhat reminiscent of sunny Spain - Fernando Torres staked his claim for the Reds’ greatest ever Premier League goal.

First, let’s set the scene for context.

The Reds arrived into the game having revived their hopes of the league title with four successive victories, one of which was a 4-1 thumping of Manchester United at Old Trafford, although their previous outing was a damaging 3-1 home loss to Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

Still, overcoming Blackburn Rovers on home turf would ensure they’d close the gap on their north-west rivals to just one point at the summit.

So, after Anfield had paid its respects to the 96 children, women and men who died at Hillsborough in the closest home game to the 20th anniversary of the disaster, Liverpool set about their on-the-pitch task.

And it took just five minutes for it to happen.

There was no swashbuckling build-up to it, no hint of what was about to unfold, as Daniel Agger played a square pass to Jamie Carragher.

Spotting the blonde locks of Liverpool’s No.9 darting into space, Carragher chipped a ball forward from deep. A touch on the chest to take it away from goal, one bounce and then bang. And then the other bounce on the terrace with added 'Naa na na na na naa na na, na naa, na naa...'.

Sorry, Paul Robinson, but nobody is saving that.

And here’s the thing for me, the factor that makes it Liverpool’s greatest Premier League goal of the last 25 seasons: Torres didn’t think he could score from that position after chesting the ball down, Torres knew he could score from that position.

But he was in the minority.

Check Andre Ooijer slowing down his covering run in the centre to almost a halt with the thought of ‘he’s not gonna score from there’ firmly in his mind.

Observe the fans behind the goal in the Lower Anfield Road needing to rise from a seated position in order to celebrate having not sensed the possibility.

Look out for Albert Riera’s hands-on-head-in-disbelief-how-did-he-do-that? reaction at the bottom of the picture.

Note the way Torres almost hops upwards after hooking the ball. This was a man operating at the peak of his devastating powers, high on confidence.

Watch the technique in detail.

Study the direction his body is facing in as he strikes it.

Now try it yourself. Not so simple to pull off after all, is it?

He got the ball, he scored again.

This was Torres at his magnificent best. This was Liverpool’s greatest ever Premier League goal.

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