Torres ready to shoot down Gunners

April 1, 2008

In-form Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is full of confidence and has Arsenal in his sights in tomorrow's Champions League quarter-final.

The Spain international has scored 11 goals in his last 10 matches - including the winner in Sunday's Merseyside derby - and has found the net four times in his previous four European outings.

Torres has 28 goals for the season and would dearly like to score at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow to give Liverpool an important advantage heading into the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

'The first game at the Emirates will be very difficult. The most important thing is to score - if we score it is very good for the Anfield game but Arsenal play very well and it is very difficult to win,' he said.

'They won a very difficult game on Saturday (beating Bolton 3-2 with 10 men) but we have confidence again now and we have the confidence to go and win against Arsenal.'

The team produced the perfect response to the defeat to Manchester United a week last Sunday by claiming derby day bragging rights thanks to Torres' solitary strike.

And that goal, which saw him become only the fifth player in the club's history to score in six successive home games, has boosted the Spaniard ahead of tomorrow's crucial encounter.

'Whenever you have a bad result, you need a big game with a good result,' added the 24-year-old. 'Every player is over the Manchester United result and the important thing is to win.

'Now we have an important game coming against Arsenal and six games in the league.'

If there is anything Torres needs to add to what has been a stunning debut season in England it is the ability to score regularly away from home.

So far 19 of his 21 league goals have come at Anfield, with 15 of those coming in front of the Kop.

Torres admits he is more comfortable playing at home but cannot explain why.

'I always feel confident that I can score at Anfield. I've got 19 Premier League goals here now which is fantastic for me, and I seem to score most of those in front of the Kop,' he said.

'I don't know why that is, but I'm always scoring at that end. It must be something about the stand, it is just different. I always feel confident when I'm facing that end of the pitch.'

Despite the majority of Torres' goals coming at home, Liverpool's legendary record goalscorer Ian Rush believes the Spaniard has the necessary credentials to become feared across Europe.

'Torres has something that can make him really special,' said Rush. 'When you've got pace and can kick with both feet, like he can, you are always going to cause the opposition problems.

'Defenders don't actually know which foot he is going to kick with. That's what makes him special. He has been a revelation.'

Rush believes Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will play his usual tactical game against Arsenal and will probably look to win the tie back at Anfield.

'I think the game will be really tight and Liverpool will have the advantage simply because of the second leg,' he told uefa.com.

'I think they will go to Arsenal in the first game and just try to contain them. If you let Arsenal play, they're a joy to watch and I feel Liverpool's job will be to try and stop them playing.

'If they can get a draw, I think they can win back at Anfield. The atmosphere and the support Liverpool will have there will give them a head start.'