Saturday, 13 September 2008

Liverpool Boss Benitez Hails Overdue Win Over Man United

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has hailed the Reds victory over Premier League rivals Manchester United at Anfield as something the whole team should be proud of.

Liverpool had to come from behind against the Premiership Champions after Argentine International Carlos Tevez put Sir Alex Ferguson’s side ahead early on, but equalised through a Wes Brown own goal and then snatched the winner through Ryan Babel late in the second-half, which the Reds had dominated.

This was the first league victory for the Merseyside club over United in four years, with Benitez applauding his teams character and overall performance.

“I think today is a game we can be really satisfied with because we were losing against a very good team,” said Benitez.

“But we showed character and played very well in the second half, so this was very positive.

“The team showed a lot of character after conceding an early goal. I was really disappointed when they scored so early because I wanted a high tempo from the start.

“They were passing the ball and keeping possession, so we needed to change a lot of things. I think it was really important to have chances and to improve a lot in the second half.

“Today you could see a lot of players working really hard, especially the strikers Dirk Kuyt and Robbie Keane, who were doing amazing work up front, and also Albert Riera in his first game played well – he is a lucky man.

“Physically he was not ready but we needed to use his ability. And after we used Steven Gerrard, he did well too. I can talk about a lot of players - Ryan Babel was really good too, but I think the overall play of the team was good.”

Ferguson conceded that his team were outfought in midfield at Anfield, with Benitez agreeing that the battle was won there.

Benitez continued: “In the last two years, I can remember that they were happy waiting and just playing on the counter-attack until we make mistakes.

"And today was more or less the same situation. When you have players with the quality of Berbatov, Tevez or Rooney in front, sometimes they just need to wait and if we make a mistake they will kill us off.

‘We didn't make many mistakes today. We can always improve and do things better, but the team played well.

“One thing that we needed to improve was our results against the top sides so now we have three points and we are in a better position than last season.

“We now have more wins against the top four so hopefully it will be the same against Chelsea and Arsenal. Everton is also another difficult game for us.”

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