Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is handling Fernando Torres’ comeback from injury carefully as he intends to get the best out of his star striker over the coming months.
The Spain international was left on the bench for last night’s 2-1 victory over Wigan, although his 64th-minute appearance, off the bench, proved to be timely as he scored the crucial second goal 14 minutes later.
Torres scrambled home his 61st Liverpool goal on his 100th appearance for the club after David Ngog had put his side ahead with a glancing 10th-minute header.
Charles N’Zogbia’s injury-time consolation caused some concern but the Reds held on for only their fourth win in 16 matches and just their second at Anfield since September 26.
Explaining his decision to start the match with Torres on the bench, Benitez said: “I wanted to keep him back because he was really tired after the last game (Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal).
“I told him I wanted to protect him and it would be good for me to play him at the end and he was good too. I think he will be ready for Portsmouth.”