On this day: Late Fernando Torres goals sink Chelsea

Five years ago today, Fernando Torres scored two late goals as Liverpool overcame Chelsea at Anfield.

While during the five seasons that preceded the 2008-09 Premier League campaign it was Chelsea who were among the challengers for the title, winning it twice, this time around it was Liverpool who posed the greatest threat to the Manchester United charge.

So, when they played host to the Blues at Anfield five years ago today, the three points were imperative to maintain the pressure on their rivals from down the M62.

Rafael Benitez's men started the contest positively, but both Xabi Alonso and Yossi Benayoun were denied early goals by visiting goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Winger Albert Riera was next to test Cech, who got down low to save the Spaniard's effort. However, the ball rebounded off Chelsea defender Ashley Cole and rolled only a foot wide of the upright.

Liverpool's domination continued after the restart, and they were given a further helping hand on the hour mark when Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard was given his marching orders for a stud-high challenge on Alonso. The pair had previous history, which dated back to a tackle in 2005 that left the Liverpool player with a broken ankle.

Fernando Torres, then of Liverpool, heads in a late goal against Chelsea on February 01, 2009.© Getty Images

Alonso recovered to see a shot deflect onto the crossbar by Alex, while Chelsea's first serious effort on target from Salomon Kalou was comfortably collected by home keeper Pepe Reina 16 minutes from time.

It appeared that the spoils were going to be a shared despite all of Liverpool's pressure, but in the 89th minute they made the breakthrough.

Fabio Aurelio sent over a cross towards the near post for Fernando Torres, who managed to get in front of Alex and turn in a headed effort from close range.

Then, the Spanish striker sealed the outcome in stoppage time following a mistake by Cole. Those were his first two goals of the term at Anfield.

"I'm very happy. We knew before the game that it was a massive game. We needed to keep the three points and stay closer to Man United. We had to keep working until the end and we knew that the goals might come in the last minute. After the sending off of Lampard it was difficult for us because they would have been happy with the draw. We are going to fight [for the title] until the end," Torres told BBC Sport after the match.

The victory moved the Reds to within two points of United, who had a game in hand.

LIVERPOOL: Reina; Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio; Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano (Babel), Riera (Benayoun), Gerrard; Torres (Ngog)

CHELSEA: Cech; Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, A Cole; Ballack, Mikel, Lampard; Kalou (Stoch), Anelka (Drogba), Malouda (Deco)

Referee Alan Wiley shows a red card to Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 14, 2009
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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