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By ESPN Staff
Feb 5, 2009

Liverpool's up and down season

August/September 2008: Liverpool start their Premier League campaign with three straight wins, a goalless draw then a crucial defeat of Manchester United at Anfield. However, in the fourth game of the season - the stalemate at Aston Villa - striker Fernando Torres picks up a hamstring injury and is ruled out for three weeks.

October 5: A Torres double and a last-minute Dirk Kuyt winner gives the Reds a 3-2 comeback win against Manchester City to stay top of the table.

October 15: Torres picks up another hamstring injury in a World Cup qualifier for Spain and is out for nearly a month.

October 26: Chelsea's formidable home record is ended with a 1-0 win courtesy of deflected Xavi Alonso's goal, strengthening Liverpool's title credentials.

November 8: Robbie Keane, the £20million summer signing, finally breaks his duck at the 11th attempt in the league with two goals in a rout of West Brom.

November 12: The unbeaten league run comes to an end as Tottenham, rejuvenated under new coach Harry Redknapp, steal a 2-1 triumph at White Hart Lane with an injury-time winner.

November/December: Anfield's reputation as a feared fortress suffers a blow as successive home draws against Fulham, West Ham and Hull mean Liverpool drop precious points.

December 9: Goals from Ryan Babel, Albert Riera and David Ngog seal a 3-1 win over PSV Eindhoven to secure qualification for the next stage of the Champions League and a last-16 tie with Real Madrid.

December 28: Steven Gerrard scores twice in a convincing 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle at St James' Park as Liverpool finish the year top of the Premier League.

January 9: Rafael Benitez rants about the fixture schedule, refereeing decisions and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson in his pre-match press conference. His team then labour in another goalless draw at lowly Stoke and surrender top spot to United.

January 19: Tim Cahill scores a late equaliser for Everton as more points are dropped at home.

February 1: Benitez's men stay in the title race with a vital 2-0 victory at home to Chelsea. Keane is left out of the squad and the next day completes his return to Tottenham, leaving Benitez claiming the club had to ``cut their losses'' on the striker.

February 4: Liverpool fail to beat Everton at the third attempt in a fortnight and crash out of the FA Cup. Gerrard suffers a hamstring injury which Benitez blames on 'burn-out', exposing the team's over-reliance on their skipper.

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