Yet, what cannot be disputed is how good the Spaniard's goal record was during his three and a half seasons at Anfield.
Having arrived from boyhood side Atletico Madrid for a reported £20m in 2007, the long-haired centre-forward went on to find the net on 81 occasions in his 142 outings for the Reds, which leaves him 20th in the club's list of all-time goalscorers.
Come the half-time whistle, though, the three points looked to be beyond the reach of the away side. The hosts broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when Brazilian duo Jo and Robinho linked to create an opening for midfielder Stephen Ireland, who beat Pepe Reina with a volley.
Then, four minutes before the break City doubled their advantage when full-back Javier Garrido curled his shot beyond the reach of Reina's outstretched arm.
However, within 10 minutes of the restart, Torres had hauled Liverpool back into the contest. Steven Gerrard played in Alvaro Arbeloa down the right wing and when the defender fired in a low cross, Torres was on hand to divert the ball into Joe Hart's net.
The wheels then started to fall off for City, who were reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute by referee Peter Walton after Pablo Zabaleta had lunged in on Xabi Alonso. Now a man light, the Citizens then saw their lead evaporate 13 minutes from time as Torres darted towards the near post to head in Gerrard's corner.
Liverpool were now in the ascendancy and despite having to finish the game without a full compliment of players when Martin Skrtel limped off injured (all three substitutions had been made), they went on to snatch a stoppage-time winner.
Although he did not get his name on the scoresheet for a third time, Torres was once again heavily involved as his shot deflected into the path of Dirk Kuyt to sweep home his first Premier League goal since the previous November, much to the delight of the travelling faithful.
Speaking after the final whistle, victorious boss Benitez said: "The reaction we showed in the second half was fantastic. The character, the determination. The thing our players showed is that they always believe. They went out in the second half believing they could win. It was a result that came from their mentality."
Meanwhile, his opposite number Mark Hughes added: "We played really well in the first half and deserved our lead. The sending-off has changed the game and made it even more difficult for us. Overall, we have to take the positives out of it. In the first half, it was as good as we have played this season. It's a harsh lesson and we will have to learn from it."
Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Dunne, Richards, Garrido; Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Kompany, Elano (Petrov), Robinho (Evans); Jo (Fernandes)
Liverpool: Reina; Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio (Dossena); Mascherano (Keane), Kuyt, Gerrard, Alonso, Riera (Benayoun); Torresbody check tags ::