Torres free to face cats
FERNANDO TORRES will be free to line up for Liverpool against Sunderland on Sunday after escaping censure for damaging the penalty spot prior to Wayne Rooney's spot-kick during Manchester United's Old Trafford victory.
Having protested to referee Howard Webb over the awarding of the penalty following an apparent tug by Javier Mascherano on United's Antonio Valencia, Torres kicked the penalty spot in frustration -- scuffing the area where Rooney was due to place the ball -- before seeing 'keeper Pepe Reina save Rooney's effort prior to the United forward netting the rebound.
While the FA has confirmed that the referee, having reviewed the incident on television, would have booked Torres for unsporting behaviour had he witnessed the penalty-spot incident, there is no process to issue yellow cards on a retrospective basis.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that the club are close to agreeing a new contract with Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano.