Reds must head to Madrid

Liverpool's Europa League semi-final first leg tie away to Atletico Madrid will go ahead as planned, despite recent travel disruptions caused by volcanic ash drifting over from Iceland.

Last week's eruptions have grounded air travel across much of Europe, but the game at the Vicente Calderon in the Spanish capital will definitely take place as scheduled on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, Reds striker Fernando Torres has denied putting country before club after undergoing a second knee operation of the season which will see him miss Liverpool's closing games.

Torres should return in time for the World Cup finals in South Africa in the summer, but the 26-year-old insists that his priority until then is helping the Anfield club.

He commented:"We exhausted all the possibilities before arriving at the final one.

"There were three options. One was that the meniscus was okay, the second was that the problem was not clear and the third that the meniscus was affected.

"On Friday afternoon in Liverpool the scan I had cleared up the doubts and made us see that I would almost definitely have to have an operation.

"The meniscus was affected and the doctors said they had to operate.

"What's more, the injury happened in the second minute of the game against Benfica at Anfield and I played injured for 85 minutes.

"If I had been thinking about the World Cup and Spain I would have asked for a substitution.

"It wasn't like that, I wanted to get to the final of the Europa League with my team."

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