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Liverpool continue fight for fourth

Fernando Torres scored twice on Sunday as Liverpool's struggle to qualify for the Champions League was helped by a 3-0 win over Sunderland.

sports Updated: Mar 29, 2010 23:23 IST

Fernando Torres scored twice on Sunday as Liverpool's struggle to qualify for the Champions League was helped by a 3-0 win over Sunderland.

The Spain striker struck in the third minute and again on the hour after Glen Johnson had scored Liverpool's second. “My goals are because the team is playing really well,” Torres said. “Hopefully the best goals are to come. We have six games to play and we have to keep playing like this.”

The win moved Liverpool up to fifth in the Premier League, four points behind Tottenham having played a game more.

Goalkeeper Pepe Reina's long kick reached Torres on the left flank and the striker dribbled his way inside Michael Turner before curling a shot over Craig Gordon into the far top corner. Steven Gerrard's inswinging corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty area and Glen Johnson touched the ball inside on to his left-foot and unleashed a shot which took a deflection off Turner to beat Gordon.

As Liverpool continued to overwhelm Sunderland after the break, Johnson set up the third by threading the ball through to Torres, who spun on the penalty spot before nudging it past Gordon.

“We now have confidence that we can beat anyone and we must beat everyone until the end of the season,” Torres said.

Real top again after win over Atletico

MADRID: Real Madrid climbed back above Barcelona to the top of La Liga when goals from former Liverpool pair Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa helped them to a 3-2 win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Atletico, who have not won a Madrid derby in more than 10 years, led 1-0 at the break thanks to a curled effort from former Real player Jose Antonio Reyes, before Alonso, Arbeloa and Gonzalo Higuain struck to put the hosts 3-1 ahead.

Diego Forlan pulled one back from the penalty spot with just over 20 minutes left after Alonso handled at a corner but Real comfortably held on to claim the three points.

With nine matches remaining, the top two are 21 points ahead of third-placed Valencia and Real host Barca in the potentially decisive “Clasico” in two weeks.

Sevilla's troubled season took a turn for the worse when they crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Villarreal in new coach Antonio Alvarez's first match in charge.

Manolo Jimenez was sacked after Tuesday's draw with Xerez and Sevilla have now failed to win in eight matches in all competitions, putting their goal of qualifying for next season's Champions League in jeopardy.

AC Milan draw 1-1 with Lazio

MILAN: AC Milan wasted the latest in a series of chances to boost their Serie A title hopes when a depleted side were held 1-1 at home by Lazio on Sunday.

“This is a strange championship. There are lots of surprises,” Milan coach Leonardo said with seven games left. “I think the team did well. We conceded an unlucky goal.”

Shortly after Clarence Seedorf had been denied following a fine move, Mathieu Flamini collided with Aleksandar Kolarov as he burst into the box and the referee awarded a soft penalty.

Marco Borriello, standing in as penalty taker with Ronaldinho suspended, converted from the spot on 18 minutes.

First Published: Mar 29, 2010 23:17 IST