It was the kind of chance Fernando Torres will have dreamed of the night before his Anfield debut.

Latching on to a Steven Gerrard pass, the Spaniard had little in the way of help as he stared down the Chelsea defence with 15 minutes played at the vaunted home of his new club.

Torres, in fact, was the only red shirt in the visitors' half when he seized upon the first of what would be many Gerrard assists.

As Torres went through the gears, Liverpool's No.9 took the direct approach.

A trademark change of pace skewered a flat-footed Tal Ben Haim before he tucked the ball inside Petr Cech's far post with a controlled finish.

Michael Essien, John Terry and Ashley Cole all arrived on the scene, but it was too late.

Liverpool's new £20million superstar was up and running. And in some style, too.

"When I scored against Chelsea, I knew right there and then that I would get more than 20 goals that season," Torres would later to say.

His own private predictions would be proven correct.

It was the first of 33 goals for Torres that season; one that would culminate with him ending Spain's 44-year wait for a major trophy with the winner in the Euro 2008 final.

By then, Torres was widely recognised as one of the continent's great centre-forwards, but that reputation was carved out and polished during a stunning maiden campaign on Merseyside.

"We didn't know he would be a superstar, not instantly," says Jamie Carragher of Torres' 2007/08 campaign.

"I would say [we realised] very quickly. Maybe it was his first game at Anfield against Chelsea when he put Ben Haim on his backside and scored that goal.

"Right away you knew, with the rivalry we had with ourselves and Chelsea, it was a huge moment for him."

Two more followed in a 6-0 home win over Derby as Rafa Benitez's big-spending summer on the likes of Torres and Ryan Babel helped take Liverpool top of the Premier League for the first time since the 2002/03 campaign.

"Fernando has settled very quickly and that is encouraging because it can be difficult coming into a new league," said Xabi Alonso at the time.

"He has shown he is not afraid of the physical contact here, with defenders trying to put him off, and that is really, really important.

"He seems to like the challenge of trying to come out on top against defenders."

Alonso's analysis of his compatriot was razor sharp.

The following game saw Torres come away from the Madejski Stadium with the match ball after a hat-trick during a bruising League Cup encounter with Reading defenders Andre Bikey and Michael Duberry.

"He got murdered all night and kept coming back and coming back," said Steven Gerrard. "His goals were great, but the best thing about him was his attitude.

"I knew he was quick, but what surprised me was his work-rate and attitude."

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A brace against Porto in a Champions League tie kept alive the Reds' hopes of progression, before a showdown with Marseille, in France, showcased Torres' talents in full.

With Liverpool needing a win to qualify, he added to Gerrard's early strike in the Velodrome with a slaloming run and finish inside the hosts' penalty area.

Meanwhile, a burgeoning partnership with Gerrard was beginning to look like a devastatingly effective weapon for Benitez.

One raking, daisy-cutter of a pass from Gerrard ended with Torres impudently clipping over Jussi Jaaskelainen in a 4-0 win over Bolton.

"For those years, certainly when he got together with Steven Gerrard midway through that season when Stevie went to play more up front, it was as good as anything in Europe that, it really was," Carragher says of the pair.

For the Liverpool captain himself, Torres was reminiscent of another great.

"He reminds me of Ian Rush," said Gerrard. "I know Rush was a great striker and as captain I don't want to put too much pressure on him in terms of goals.

"But Rushie got a lot of credit for working hard for the team, tracking back and not giving defenders a minute on the ball. And that's what Fernando does."

Liverpool has always been a club that celebrates its strikers.

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From Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish, through to John Aldridge, Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler, the Reds have long prided themselves on their star men up top.

After Michael Owen's departure in 2004, however, Liverpool would struggle to find the calibre of player capable of holding court with some of their past heroes.

Milan Baros, Peter Crouch, Fernando Morientes and Djibril Cisse were just some of the players trialled, to varying degrees of success in that time.

It was Torres' arrival that rekindled Liverpool's love of a No.9.

And the Kop needed little encouragement to tell the world that.

"Fernando Torres, Liverpool's No.9."

Carragher says: "I think for a time, I think you could argue that Fernando Torres was the best centre-forward in the world.

"You think what he was doing with Spain in the Euros as well, he scored the winning goal in 2008, so he was a special, special player.

With the bleach blonde hair, white boots and heavily taped socks, Torres' trademark look became an ominous one for opposition defenders.

A 25-yard howitzer that rescued a point at Middlesbrough was arguably his best of the season, but it was the variety of the goals that truly caught the eye.

Successive Anfield hat-tricks against Sunderland and West Ham surged the goal return figures from 18 to 24 by March, before a gorgeous dummy and finish from Gerrard's well-weighted pass brought up his 25th.

It was goal that evoked memories of none other than the great Pele, to some.

"The Spaniard’s dummy, which flummoxed Steve Harper, was reminiscent of Pele versus Uruguay in 1970...except Torres scored." wrote the ECHO's head of sport, Dave Prentice, at the time.

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Another for the Torres scrapbook followed when he bagged the only goal in a 1-0 win away to Inter in the Champions League.

A sharpshooter like 'El Nino' was exactly what Benitez's famed tactical blueprints needed to thrive on the continent.

His goals would keep the Reds - the new-found European powerhouses under Benitez - in the hunt for a sixth Champions League until the semi-final stage that season.

"When you look back at his time, the goals against Real Madrid, Inter Milan, he had some great moments in the Champions League," Carragher says.

A decisive contribution would give him the headlines in his first Merseyside derby at Anfield as a new terrace anthem named the 'Torres Bounce' quickly became a favourite.

No other foreign import had ever scored more than Torres' 24 in their maiden Premier League term, but individual honours would elude him.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo retained his PFA Player of the Year title title ahead of Torres, who came second.

A 33rd and final goal of an explosive year came at Tottenham on the final day as the away end bounced to his beat for the last time that term.

"When you just think of Fernando Torres in a red shirt...you just knew, we we're all going to bounce in a minute!" Carragher concludes.

"That was the song, wasn't it?"