Torres goal hits bookies hard

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres cost bookmakers Sky Bet thousands of pounds on Monday night after scoring at Anfield in his sides 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

The Harrogate-based bookies set a special goal-scoring bet of 20-1 at the start of the weekend for Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor and Fernando Torres to all score in their respective matches.

Rooney duly obliged, bagging a brace in Manchester United's 5-0 demolition of Wigan, before Adebayor got the only goal in Manchester City's 1-0 win over Wolves.

And after Didier Drogba struck in the West London derby win over Fulham on Sunday, Torres was left to complete an unlikely state of affairs.

Around 2,000 customers are believed to have taken a punt on the bet, and when the Spaniard volleyed home Emiliano Insua's cross against Martin O'Neill's side, the six-figure liability became a reality.

"The 20/1 for all four players to score was the best in the industry so it's little wonder that it was popular," said Sky Bet's Helen Jacob.

"The only slight consolation is that we didn't offer the special on them all to score first as the potential payout could have been millions."