Torres hat trick leads Liverpool to League Cup win

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LONDON, Sep 25 (Reuters) Fernando Torres scored a hat-trick to inspire Liverpool to a 4-2 victory at Reading in the League Cup third round today.

The Spain striker was on target three times in the second half after Israeli Yossi Benayoun had put Liverpool in front before the break with his first goal for the club.

Arsenal, last season's runners-up, rested virtually their entire first team against Newcastle United but still ran out 2-0 winners with late goals from Nicklas Bendtner and Brazilian Denilson.

Two other Premier League sides got through. Manchester City beat Norwich City 1-0 with a Georgios Samaras goal one minute from time while Portsmouth triumphed 1-0 at Burnley thanks to David Nugent.

Fourth division Morecambe's run came to an abrupt end as they went down 5-0 at second division Sheffield United.

Torres, surprisingly left out of Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Birmingham City in the Premier League at the weekend, was unstoppable at Reading.

Benayoun's 23rd-minute effort was cancelled out by Bobby Convey's volley before Torres pounced five minutes after the break with a precise low finish after being played in by Sebastian Leto.

Reading levelled again after 64 minutes through John Halls but Torres proved the difference.

John Arne Riise came off the bench to tee up Torres after 72 minutes and the Spaniard struck again four minutes from time after rounding the Reading keeper.

Robbie Fowler (2), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Trevor Sinclair also led Cardiff City to a 4-2 win at second division rivals West Bromwich Albion.

Reuters KK VP0252

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