Fernando Torres earns all the plaudits

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Roy Hodgson believes Fernando Torres is back to his best after the Spain international scored both Liverpool's goals in the impressive 2-0 victory against league leaders Chelsea.

After making a disastrous start to the campaign, the Reds have now won four successive games in all competitions and have climbed to ninth in the table.

Hodgson said after the win:"I'm pleased with the all-round performance and I'm also pleased that Fernando Torres will get a lot of the plaudits.

"He's taken more than his fair share of criticism, some of which has been grossly exaggerated and certainly not fully deserved.

"Of course, when the team's not winning it's hard to defend these things but today he'll get a lot of plaudits and people will say he's back to his best. Let's hope that's the case but certainly today he was. He played very, very well.

"One always hopes that playing at this very high level that you've got that quality of player. Today we had the quality of Fernando Torres and that won us the game alongside a very disciplined and organised performance from the others.

"I'll enjoy ninth but you can go back to 16th again with a couple of defeats. We've got to get ourselves going again for Wednesday (at Wigan).

"The squad is looking pretty small with the sickness and injuries we've picked up. It's a long season. It's 11 games in, so we're not even a third of the way through. I prefer in football to keep my feet on the ground."

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