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Liverpool's Fernando Torres happy with improving form

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Torres delighted with double strike

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres does not feel he has returned to his best form despite scoring both goals in Sunday's 2-0 win against Chelsea.

Torres has come under scrutiny during Liverpool's patchy start to the season and has been criticised for his touch and at times lacklustre demeanour.

However, the Spaniard, 26, who has suffered an injury-plagued year, said: "It's been difficult but I'm improving.

"I don't know if I can play my best soon but I will as soon as possible."

Torres ran the current Premier League leaders ragged in the first half with a well-taken opener on 11 minutes and a delightful curling shot just before half-time to double his personal goal tally for the season.

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He added: "It was a tough end to [last] season for me, difficult in the World Cup, I had a lot of injuries, it was difficult training every day.

"Every game I am feeling better, improving every day.

"It's part of a footballer's life being criticised. Playing for a team like Liverpool, everyone is watching everything you are doing around the world a minute later.

"I know the expectations, I am ready to fight and get my form."

Liverpool jumped up to ninth in the table, within five points of fourth-placed Manchester City, following their third successive Premier League win and Torres added: "We were not good enough at the start of season. We're now going forward in the table and getting better every day.

"We needed time to work with a new manager and new players. It is three more points but it gives us more confidence and especially because it's been a tough week with three games," stated Torres, referring to Liverpool's previous wins over Bolton and Napoli.

Torres has now scored four league goals this season and Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson insisted the criticism of the Spaniard has been unjustified.

"I'm pleased with the performance and I'm pleased Fernando will get the plaudits because he's taken his fair share of criticism, some of which has been grossly exaggerated and certainly not fully deserved," said Hodgson.

Torres made the difference - Ancelotti

"When the team is not winning it is hard to defend those things but people will now say he is back to his best and let's hope that is the case.

"Chelsea have had a lot of success with their front players and Liverpool have had a lot of success with Fernando. It is nice now we are maybe getting back to that."

And Hodgson has stressed that Torres is content at Anfield.

"We were all in a situation wondering what the future would be during the takeover but, like myself, he can see a positive future here," said Hodgson.

"He likes being at Liverpool and playing for Liverpool. I don't have any fears for the future as far as he's concerned, as long as we can get back close to the top of the table where Liverpool belong.

"On this form, his performance was right up there with his best, it was an excellent performance. Fernando Torres is a vital player for Liverpool; he would be for any club. You can't have success without players doing that job for you up front."

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti paid tribute to Torres but criticised his side's uncertain first-half performance.

"Torres scored two fantastic goals and he showed he was fit and has come back from not a good moment. He is a fantastic striker," said the Italian, who had to start with his own striker Didier Drogba on the bench because of illness.

"We didn't play quickly in the first half. We didn't have time to build play from the back and we didn't have the possibility to find space in the opponent's half.

"Liverpool defended very well in the first half and counter-attacked. The second half was better when we played with strong intensity and had opportunities but it was not enough because Liverpool defensively played well for 90 minutes."

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see also
Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
07 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
07 Nov 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
07 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Agger set for 'long-term' absence
07 Nov 10 |  Liverpool
Striker Torres committed to Reds
03 Aug 10 |  Liverpool
Hodgson expecting Torres to stay
27 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Struggling Torres backed by Villa
30 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Torres out for rest of the season
19 Apr 10 |  Liverpool


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