Liverpool's Carragher (right) blocks a shot from former team-mate Torres
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Stamford Bridge
Fernando Torres' Chelsea debut ended in the disappointment of defeat and a failure to last 90 minutes against his former club as Liverpool's revival under Kenny Dalglish continued with victory at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's £50m British record buy from Liverpool cut a subdued figure and was well shackled before being replaced by Salomon Kalou after 66 minutes.
If that was not enough to delight the Liverpool fans who taunted their former idol mercilessly and brandished banners to demonstrate their displeasure at the manner of his departure, their joy was complete three minutes after Torres' exit when Raul Meireles pounced to give Dalglish his fourth successive win.
Meireles took advantage of a mix-up between Chelsea keeper Petr Cech and Branislav Ivanovic to score his fourth goal in five games when he turned in Steven Gerrard's cross at the far post.
Chelsea's loss represented a missed opportunity after Manchester United slipped to their first league defeat of the season at Wolves, Ancelotti's side remaining 10 points behind the leaders. Liverpool, in contrast, move into the top six for the first time this season.
The win was no more than the rejuvenated Reds deserved - and it will have come as a relief to Maxi Rodriguez, who hit the bar when almost on the goalline in the first half.
Liverpool's resilience and organisation ensured it did not prove costly, but it was a forgettable start to Torres' Chelsea career and provided early evidence that coach Carlo Ancelotti has work to do to integrate the Spaniard into his attacking system, after also including Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in a lop-sided starting line-up.
Dalglish hails 'magnificent' Liverpool
The style in which Liverpool achieved this triumph only furthers Dalglish's claims to be given the manager's job on a permanent basis, and it is now surely only a matter of time before this formality is confirmed.
And it was done without the need for £23m striker Luis Suarez, who remained an unused substitute as Liverpool controlled affairs for a large portion of the game.
Chelsea looked unbalanced, lacked width and were eventually reduced to playing into Liverpool's hands with a succession of aimless long balls that were mopped up with the minimum of fuss, to the home fans' increasing frustration.
Anelka was utilised in a deeper role but it was an uncomfortable fit and Liverpool, boosted by an outstanding performance from Jamie Carragher on his first appearance since November after shoulder surgery, neutralised Chelsea comfortably.
The centre-back snuffed out Torres' best chance with a trademark tackle in the first half and he also fired over early on after being inadvertently found by Maxi.
Torres, loved by Liverpool's fans not so long ago, was greeted with hostility and one banner read: "He Who Betrays Will Always Walk Alone."
And he walked alone as he was taken off midway through the second half, although there will be much more to come from this gifted striker once he finds his feet at Stamford Bridge and Ancelotti uncovers a system that suits his talents.
While Dalglish kept Suarez on the bench, Chelsea had no hesitation in handing Torres an instant start against his former team-mates. The reception from the visiting supporters was predictably angry, but there were warm exchanges between Torres and Liverpool's players during the pre-match handshake.
Torres will improve for Chelsea - Ancelotti
Maxi almost extended the hand of friendship too far when he directed a wayward pass straight to Torres in the opening minute, but the striker squandered the opportunity of making a dream start when his rising drive flew off target.
There was soon another hint of his threat and it took a timely intervention from Carragher to divert his goalbound shot after he was played in by Drogba.
Liverpool were more than holding their own and ended the half in the ascendancy. They should have taken the lead just after the half-hour when Gerrard's cross evaded Chelsea's defenders and reached Maxi in front of an open goal less than six yards out. To general amazement, and the very obvious anguish of Dalglish in the technical area, he managed to hit the bar and hand Chelsea a reprieve.
The hosts were struggling to make an impact but Anelka raised a subdued Stamford Bridge's spirits with a low shot that flew inches wide before Torres' game came to a conclusion after 66 minutes when he was replaced by Kalou.
Torres' exit - a decision by Ancelotti that came as no surprise - was met with delight by Liverpool's fans and they had even more cause to celebrate when they went ahead soon after.
Chelsea keeper Cech and Ivanovic had already suffered one communication breakdown that led to angry words between the pair and the second proved more costly as Liverpool took full advantage.
Dirk Kuyt's presence in the vicinity of Gerrard's cross created uncertainty and Meireles was perfectly placed to score and continue his rich vein of form.
As Chelsea pressed Liverpool almost struck again with 10 minutes left, substitute Fabio Aurelio cutting inside from the left and forcing a fine save from Cech at his near post.
Chelsea's fruitless day was summed up in the closing stages when Liverpool defender Glen Johnson clearly, and needlessly, barged Ivanovic in the area, but referee Andre Marriner chose to ignore their appeals.
That apart, Chelsea provided Liverpool with no real alarms and a beaming Dalglish punched the air in triumph and embraced his backroom staff at the final whistle.
70:12 The ball is swung over by Jose Bosingwa, Jose Reina makes a save.
70:04 Centre by Ashley Cole.
68:28 The assist for the goal came from Steven Gerrard.
68:28 GOAL - Raul Meireles:Chelsea 0 - 1 Liverpool Goal scored by Raul Meireles from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool.
66:31 Michael Essien produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
65:03 Substitution Salomon Kalou is brought on as a substitute for Fernando Torres.
64:34 Nicolas Anelka has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.
62:01 The ball is swung over by Jose Bosingwa, Leiva Lucas makes a clearance.
61:18 The ball is sent over by Martin Skrtel.
58:32 Nicolas Anelka challenges Glen Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Raul Meireles crosses the ball in from the free
kick, Petr Cech makes a save.
57:17 Effort from outside the penalty box by Ashley Cole goes wide left of the target.
55:30 Raul Meireles concedes a free kick for a foul on Mikel. Direct free kick taken by Mikel.
54:26 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Leiva Lucas gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the right by-line,
Branislav Ivanovic has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.
53:17 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Blocked by Martin Kelly. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Didier Drogba from the left by-line
to the near post, clearance by Jamie Carragher.
52:37 Glen Johnson has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.
52:29 The ball is crossed by Raul Meireles.
50:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Gerrard on Ashley Cole. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.
48:48 Branislav Ivanovic challenges Dirk Kuyt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Daniel Agger takes the free kick.
47:04 The ball is swung over by Martin Skrtel, John Terry manages to make a clearance.
46:51 The ball is sent over by Martin Skrtel, John Terry makes a clearance.
45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
45:00+1:07 The players leave the pitch at half time.
45:00+0:08 The ball is delivered by Martin Skrtel, Petr Cech makes a save.
43:47 The ball is sent over by Rodriguez Maxi.
42:50 Leiva Lucas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Essien. Direct free kick taken by Didier Drogba.
42:12 Steven Gerrard crosses the ball, John Terry makes a clearance.
40:28 A cross is delivered by Michael Essien, Daniel Agger makes a clearance.
39:24 The ball is delivered by Rodriguez Maxi.
37:48 Dirk Kuyt concedes a free kick for a foul on John Terry. Free kick taken by John Terry.
36:43 The ball is sent over by Steven Gerrard, save made by Petr Cech.
34:28 Didier Drogba takes the outswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Branislav Ivanovic misses to
the left of the goal.
34:21 The ball is delivered by Jose Bosingwa, Leiva Lucas makes a clearance.
Correction - 32:32 Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot.
32:19 Shot from 6 yards by Steven Gerrard. Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot.
31:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Didier Drogba on Martin Skrtel. Free kick taken by Martin Skrtel.
31:17 Raul Meireles takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
30:27 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Jamie Carragher gets a block in.
28:51 Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line to the near post, Didier Drogba makes a clearance.
28:38 Steven Gerrard produces a cross, clearance made by Mikel.
26:43 Corner taken by Frank Lampard from the left by-line, Header from close range by Branislav Ivanovic misses to the right of
25:29 Foul by Daniel Agger on Fernando Torres, free kick awarded. Didier Drogba delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed
from right wing, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.
21:24 The ball is crossed by Ashley Cole, clearance made by Daniel Agger.
20:26 Dirk Kuyt fouled by Branislav Ivanovic, the ref awards a free kick. Daniel Agger takes the free kick.
18:24 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Raul Meireles played to the near post, clearance made by Didier Drogba.
17:54 A cross is delivered by Jamie Carragher, Branislav Ivanovic gets a block in.
16:33 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole by Martin Kelly. Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.
15:27 Didier Drogba takes a shot.
14:07 The referee blows for offside. Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.
12:07 The assistant referee signals for offside against Fernando Torres. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
7:51 Handball by Ashley Cole. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.
5:23 The ball is delivered by Martin Kelly, John Terry makes a clearance.
4:21 Foul by Didier Drogba on Jamie Carragher, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.
3:52 Glen Johnson sends in a cross.
2:09 Nicolas Anelka is caught offside. Daniel Agger takes the indirect free kick.
1:30 Effort on goal by Fernando Torres from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
0:32 Steven Gerrard fouled by Mikel, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Raul Meireles.
0:32 Booking The referee books Mikel for unsporting behaviour.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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