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Carling Cup: Fernando Torres proves his worth

Carling Cup: Fernando Torres proves his worth

Steve Wilson and agencies
Last Updated: 10:35pm BST 25/09/2007

Reading 2 Liverpool 4

Fernando Torres, rested to the bench in Liverpool's last two Premiership games, made the most of a rare start under Rafael Benitez's rotation to score a hat-trick of true striker's goals and hand Liverpool victory in an entertaining cup tie.

Yossi Benayoun had given Liverpool a lead after a wonderful solo goal, beating a man on the edge of the area and then picking his spot from 15 yards.

Carling Cup: Torres proves his worth
The power of three: Fernando Torres scored a hat-trick to send Liverpool through

But Reading were soon back on level terms thanks to a disputed Bobby Convey volley with a pair of Reading players in clear offside positions and blocking Charles Itandje's line of vision.

After the break Torres showed power and pace to leave the Reading defence standing and passed his shot into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.

John Halls had restored parity before a half volley from inside the box from Torres. In the dying moments the Spaniard showed a cool head when faced with a one-on-one with Adam Federici in the Reading goal to settle the match emphatically in Liverpool's favour

Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0

Arsenal gave youth its chance against Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium and once more Arsene Wenger's young guns produced the goods.

Young Dane Nicklas Bendtner scored the important first goal of the match when it had looked likely to go in to extra-time.

Bendtner met a perfect cross from Armand Traore with a powerful header to break the deadlock.

Minutes later Denilson registered his first goal for the club - a thunderous drive after being fed in by Abou Diaby.

Lukasz Fabianski started in goal, while Lassana Diarra, Brazilian teenager Denilson and Theo Walcott also made the side. Emmanuel Eboue returned from an ankle problem, with Philippe Senderos named captain.

Newcastle were without Michael Owen, who is reported to be out of the forthcoming England Euro 2008 qualifiers because of a groin problem.

And Sam Allardyce's side missed his goal threat as they rarely put pressure on a resilient if callow Arsenal back line.

Manchester City 1 Norwich 0

Georgios Samaras, not even previously offered a place on the bench by Sven-Goran Eriksson so far this season, slotted home a last-gasp winner to send Manchester City through and impress either his manager of potential suitors come January.

The Greek forward finished off Kelvin Etuhu's superb through ball to ensure City overcame a determined Norwich side who scrapped throughout but never really looked like causing a shock.

City themselves produced little with only a handful of half chances before Samaras made the decisive intervention.

Etuhu, on as a substitute, wasted an opportunity to mark his debut with a winner of his own, while Rolando Bianchi was also off target with a snap-shot as the clock ticked down.

But, with the game heading to extra-time, Etuhu produced the pin-point pass which allowed Samaras to send City into the last 16.

Burnley 0 Portsmouth 1

Kevin Nugent scored a welcome goal for Portsmouth at Turf Moor after enduring a difficult time since his £6million summer move from Preston.

Nugent's 69th minute strike past Burnley keeper Gabor Kiraly was only his second goal since arriving at Fratton Park and drew furious protests from the home side, who claimed the striker had handled Pedro Mendes' cross before firing home.

But that will not matter to Nugent, who had wasted a better opportunity earlier in the game when one-on-one with Kiraly.

But Nugent struck back with a fine low finish to maintain Pompey's interest in a competition which, having made 10 changes from the win at Blackburn 48 hours earlier, is clearly low on Redknapp's priority list.


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