Torres makes the away supporters delirious with the opening goal
By Mark Ashenden
Fernando Torres scored twice to help Liverpool overcome battling West Ham.
Zavon Hines hit the post before Torres poked in the opener, but Alessandro Diamanti scored a debatable penalty that he appeared to touch twice.
Dirk Kuyt stabbed in Steven Gerrard's header and West Ham fought back with Carlton Cole nodding in Mark Noble's corner just before the interval.
With the Hammers tiring in the second half, Ryan Babel burst forward to chip in for Torres to head the winner.
Liverpool are improving - Benitez
The Hammers, looking for their first win since the opening day of the season, started off brightly and came within a whisker of taking the lead within only two minutes.
The Jamaican-born Hines, making his second Premier League start, stole possession from the napping Carragher on the edge of the box but could only curl his shot against the upright.
It was a wake-up call for the visitors and Yossi Benayoun, facing his former club, dinked his way into the box but shot only tamely into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Robert Green.
The Reds though, adopting a 4-2-3-1 formation with Torres as the solo striker, poured forward and grabbed the opener on 20 minutes thanks to a dash of Spanish magic.
The packed West Ham midfield, always pretty but often careless, handed the ball to Emiliano Insua and his through-ball found Torres on the left who weaved around James Tomkins before blasting over the on-rushing Green.
Manager Gianfranco Zola, recently celebrating his one-year anniversary at Upton Park, looked bemused on the sidelines, and his cause was not helped after 25 minutes, seeing Matthew Upson and a tearful Valon Behrami limping off.
Within three minutes of the enforced substitutes they were amazingly level after a sloppy challenge by Carragher on the dangerman Hines down the left-hand side of the box.
Up stepped Italian Diamanti for the spot-kick and although the ball flew over Pepe Reina, the Liverpool bench were incensed, claiming the striker had kicked the ball twice after slipping.
Back came Liverpool and they grabbed the lead again with Kuyt's boot getting on the end of a towering Gerrard header from an inswinging Benayoun corner.
For all of Liverpool's possession, West Ham's frontline was always threatening and stunned the visitors on the stroke of half-time when Cole outjumped three defenders to nod in the equaliser.
The second period was a case of West Ham hanging on with a handful of players suffering from cramp and their substitute options severely limited.
Players gave everything - Zola
Benayoun twice went on dazzling runs and only last-ditch sliding tackles denied the Israeli midfielder from scoring wonderful goals.
Even the legs of the battling Diamanti proved too weary for the final onslaught as he was taken off to a standing ovation, replaced by former England star Kieron Dyer.
It was a flood of players in white desperate to break down the resolute Hammers defence, and with 15 minutes remaining they bagged the all-important strike.
Johnson, another player up against his former employers, stormed down the right wing and with Babel picking up possession, the Dutchman delicately chipped over to Torres who headed down brilliantly to regain the lead.
Still the hosts were not finished as they managed one last throw of the dice with Radoslav Kovac denied at the end by Reina's outstretched hand.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez: "We showed character and the team has confidence. Four wins in a row means that the team is in good shape.
"It was a very competitive game, they were working very hard too, but we gave them hope. It was difficult, but we did enough to win."
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola on his players: "I think they gave everything, I couldn't ask any more. It was a close game, but when you play against good teams like them it is difficult.
"The difference was that in the second half we got tired and they took advantage. We are used to fighting against problems, so it's no problem - we will be positive."
83:15 Steven Gerrard concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Parker. Mark Noble crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed
from left wing.
82:42 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker by Javier Mascherano. Scott Parker takes the free kick.
80:53 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Robert Green makes a save.
79:52 Yossi Benayoun takes the outswinging corner, clearance by James Tomkins.
79:04 Herita Ilunga challenges Ryan Babel unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Glen Johnson.
76:06 Radoslav Kovac takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a save. Outswinging corner taken by Mark Noble, James Tomkins has a headed effort
at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
74:14 Assist on the goal came from Ryan Babel.
74:14 GOAL - Fernando Torres:West Ham 2 - 3 Liverpool Fernando Torres grabs a headed goal from close range. West Ham 2-3 Liverpool.
74:09 Glen Johnson takes a shot. Daniel Gabbidon gets a block in.
73:16 Julien Faubert fouled by Yossi Benayoun, the ref awards a free kick. Robert Green takes the free kick.
70:57 Leiva Lucas challenges Carlton Cole unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by James Tomkins.
70:10 Steven Gerrard takes a shot from 20 yards. Daniel Gabbidon gets a block in.
67:49 Effort from just outside the area by Ryan Babel goes over the target.
66:41 Carlton Cole concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Skrtel. Direct free kick taken by Leiva Lucas.
64:47 Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.
64:47 Substitution (West Ham) makes a substitution, with Kieron Dyer coming on for Alessandro Diamanti.
64:47 The referee blows for offside.
64:32 Scott Parker takes a shot. Blocked by Jamie Carragher.
63:31 Leiva Lucas takes a shot. Blocked by Herita Ilunga.
61:23 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by James Tomkins.
60:48 Glen Johnson challenges Zavon Hines unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
58:43 Jose Reina takes the indirect free kick.
58:43 Substitution Ryan Babel comes on in place of Dirk Kuyt.
58:43 Corner taken by Alessandro Diamanti, save by Jose Reina. Corner from left by-line taken by Mark Noble. The assistant referee
signals for offside against Herita Ilunga.
55:05 Leiva Lucas takes a shot. James Tomkins gets a block in.
52:36 Carlton Cole produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Blocked by Martin Skrtel.
51:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Gabbidon by Fernando Torres. Free kick taken by Herita Ilunga.
49:25 Mark Noble takes the free kick.
49:25 Booking Booking for Javier Mascherano.
49:15 Javier Mascherano challenges Zavon Hines unfairly and gives away a free kick.
48:08 Foul by Radoslav Kovac on Emiliano Insua, free kick awarded. Emiliano Insua restarts play with the free kick.
46:55 Glen Johnson takes a shot. Radoslav Kovac gets a block in.
45:53 Alessandro Diamanti concedes a free kick for a foul on Fernando Torres. Free kick taken by Javier Mascherano.
45:43 The assistant referee flags for offside against Zavon Hines. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:00+3:31 The first half comes to an end.
45:00+3:18 Leiva Lucas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Zavon Hines. Free kick taken by Herita Ilunga.
45:00+2:28 Alessandro Diamanti challenges Emiliano Insua unfairly and gives away a free kick. Javier Mascherano takes the direct free
45:00+0:48 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fernando Torres on Zavon Hines. Robert Green takes the free kick.
44:52 Mark Noble provided the assist for the goal.
44:52 GOAL - Carlton Cole:West Ham 2 - 2 Liverpool Carlton Cole scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. West Ham 2-2 Liverpool.
43:37 Alessandro Diamanti fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mark
43:37 Booking Martin Skrtel is booked.
43:33 Zavon Hines fouled by Glen Johnson, the ref awards a free kick.
40:56 Steven Gerrard provided the assist for the goal.
40:56 GOAL - Dirk Kuyt:West Ham 1 - 2 Liverpool Dirk Kuyt grabs a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. West Ham 1-2 Liverpool.
40:30 Corner taken by Yossi Benayoun, Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Blocked by Dirk Kuyt.
35:12 Emiliano Insua restarts play with the free kick. Shot by Steven Gerrard.
35:12 Booking Julien Faubert goes into the referee's book.
35:07 Steven Gerrard fouled by Julien Faubert, the ref awards a free kick.
34:00 Carlton Cole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Skrtel. Jamie Carragher restarts play with the free
32:22 Javier Mascherano concedes a free kick for a foul on Zavon Hines. Scott Parker takes the direct free kick.
30:50 Steven Gerrard delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.
30:50 Booking Booking for Scott Parker.
30:45 Scott Parker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emiliano Insua.
28:53 Assist on the goal came from Zavon Hines.
28:53 GOAL - Alessandro Diamanti:West Ham 1 - 1 Liverpool Alessandro Diamanti scores a placed penalty. West Ham 1-1 Liverpool.
28:15 Booking Jamie Carragher receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
28:06 Jamie Carragher challenges Zavon Hines unfairly and gives away a Penalty.
27:36 Leiva Lucas fouled by Carlton Cole, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.
26:50 Substitution Radoslav Kovac joins the action as a substitute, replacing Valon Behrami.
26:04 Effort on goal by Fernando Torres from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.
24:57 Inswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard.
24:05 Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
24:05 Substitution (West Ham) makes a substitution, with Daniel Gabbidon coming on for Matthew Upson.
24:05 Unfair challenge on Leiva Lucas by Carlton Cole results in a free kick.
23:21 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emiliano Insua on Alessandro Diamanti. Free kick crossed left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti,
Martin Skrtel manages to make a clearance.
19:31 Emiliano Insua provided the assist for the goal.
19:31 GOAL - Fernando Torres:West Ham 0 - 1 Liverpool Fernando Torres scores a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. West Ham 0-1 Liverpool.
18:47 Corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line, Matthew Upson makes a clearance.
18:35 Javier Mascherano takes a shot from 35 yards. Blocked by Matthew Upson.
16:54 Effort from deep inside the area by Fernando Torres misses to the right of the goal.
15:10 Alessandro Diamanti produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
14:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dirk Kuyt on Herita Ilunga. Matthew Upson takes the free kick.
12:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by Yossi Benayoun on Scott Parker. Matthew Upson takes the free kick.
9:57 Effort from outside the penalty area by Emiliano Insua goes wide left of the goal.
9:17 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by James Tomkins.
8:52 James Tomkins challenges Fernando Torres unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
7:37 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Reina.
6:26 Yossi Benayoun takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
3:20 Martin Skrtel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Carlton Cole. Alessandro Diamanti takes the direct free kick.
1:52 Effort from inside the area by Zavon Hines strikes the post.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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