It was hardly the most influential game from Gerrard but the Liverpool skipper produced a goal when his side needed it most, as he does so often, meaning the two clubs will meet again at Anfield.
Simon Church had bundled in an opener to give the hosts the scent of an upset but Gerrard levelled before the break for Rafael Benitez's men.
Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani moved back to bench-warming duties after making back-to-back starts for Rafael Benitez in the previous two matches.
Club has been in freefall since the surrender of the top flight two seasons ago, and people like Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt have been sold, but at least the current players do not give up. Gylfi Sigurdsson fired a swerving Reina needed a decent save.
Torres had threatened just after the break when he shot narrowly over the bar from the edge of the area.
Federici appeared to pull hamstring in the middle of the second half so that Ben Hamer came off the bench. Benitez also brought in for Ngog Aquilani.
Hamer saved on the line before the end of Aquilani and Torres headed just over the suspension of time.
Reading: Federici (Hammer 68′), Bertrand, Ingimarson, Mills, Gunnarsson, Cisse (Howard 74′), Karacan, McAnuff, Sigurdsson, Church, Rasiak (Long 77′)
Liverpool: Reina, Darby, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Gerrard, Lucas, Aurelio (Benayounm 79′), Ngog (Aquilani 67′), Kuyt, Torres