News24

Benitez ready for United clash

2009-03-10 07:07

England - Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez admits his team have to win at Manchester United to stand any chance of catching the Premier League leaders.

The Reds are seven points adrift of United, who have a game in hand, and Benitez knows Saturday's game at Old Trafford will decide what can be achieved in the remainder of the campaign.

Liverpool were in control of the title race at the turn of the year but a run of three wins in eight Premier League games has seen them fall to third in the table.

And following the United game, they also face a tough match against Aston Villa, who are fighting to claim a Champions League place, so there is no longer any margin for error.

United have been in imperious form and Benitez acknowledges that the Reds need to pick up a victory this weekend to retain even a faint hope of a first title since 1990.

"The game against United will be a crucial point again. If we win we can still be thinking about the title and if we can't then it will be very difficult," he said.

"It would be almost impossible but we know the situation and I still think that we're in a fantastic position, better than that in the last few years and we've been improving and we'll see this week if we can improve a little bit more.

"The league depends on the next game so if we can beat United, they are a good team with good players, but we have enough games to play so we will see."

One positive note in 2009 has been the continued fine form of versatile Brazilian Fabio Aurelio, whose spell at Anfield has been blighted by injuries since he arrived in 2006.

The left-sided defender, 29, first worked with Benitez at Valencia and set up Yossi Benayoun's goal in the 1-0 win at Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

Benitez rates Aurelio's technical ability even above key playmakers Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso.

"I think he's playing well. He scored a lot of goals for us in Valencia from free-kicks and he's a fantastic player with quality," he said.

"He's had problems with injuries but if he can play some games in a row he'll have the sharpness and you'll see the quality.

"There isn't a player with more quality in the squad. People are talking about Gerrard or Alonso but Fabio technically is better than them.

"If you could see the training sessions, the delivery, the control, the passes, he's really good. For years we have seen the crosses from Fabio have been fantastic."

Aurelio knows he has plenty to achieve at Anfield and feels Benitez's squad is in good shape going into their key run of games.

He said: "I've been enjoying a lot of minutes and enjoying a lot of the games and being involved in important games like Real Madrid, United and Aston Villa, is a pleasure.

"Thinking about the past is a shame because I could have been involved in very important games as well, but I only think about the future and this is a good opportunity for me and for the club as well.

"We know that the next games can dictate more or less Liverpool's future in this campaign and I think we're prepared for that.

"The team have been working for this kind of challenge and a big club like Liverpool wants to be in this situation.

"We have an opportunity to maybe come back into the running in the Premier League."

AFP

Comments
  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-10 09:48

    He had better win the idiot! BLAH BALH BLAH but no league trophy!

  • Sharwan - 2009-03-10 11:14

    Hey Rafa, wake up man!!! I've been supporting LFC since 1986, as Wenger put, they are too scared to win it. Also, like Jose' says, it's not a question of are United too good, it really is are the other teams too weak??? LFC 4EVA

  • Philip du Plessis - 2009-03-10 11:30

    We at Old Trafford would like to welcome our old adversaries Liverpool to the home of the English trophy cabinet, the place where the new record will be held for most Premierships, the place where before long the record will be held for most Champions Leagues, indeed the place where class reigns eternal. We truly hope you will be enjoying the soccer lesson that is about to be given to Rafa and his boys by Fergie and his men.

  • Sharwan - 2009-03-10 11:47

    Philip, United have won the Champions' League three times in their entire history, Real Madrid nine, Liverpool 5, yes, 5. Maybe with the Second Coming they (United) just might equal Liverpool's. United are in excellent form, but Class, my friend, is permanent!!!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-10 11:52

    Shame Philip, nice dreams you have there. When you wake up in reality, please note that no matter what happens tonight or even the rest of the season, LIVERPOOL remain the MOST successful English Club. EVER. As the mad scientist Rafa would say, "FACT". But, no doubt, Manure playing well at the moment. Just remember fate can change very quickly in football. As Rafa has said, this week is massive & crucial to our season, so hopefully he plays the PROPER team & doesn't mess around. YNWA

  • Carlsberg - 2009-03-10 12:22

    Phillipa, you are a bit confused there... United are SEVEN titles away from winning the Champions Leagues the most times, i.e. never gonna happen. And Fergie and his men? Seriously??! Tevez maybe, but not baby ronaldo or that brat rooney...

  • RyanGiggs - 2009-03-10 14:07

    Rafa rates Aurelio (Orios) above Gerrard and maybe even Torres? Lmao, what is the pot belly crackhead smoking. Those two players make Fools and the rest are downright hopeless. Once again Benitez sticks his foot in it.

  • RyanGiggs - 2009-03-10 14:14

    Looking forward to the showdown. United to win it 3-0. Whats the difference between a Liverpool fan and a toilet? Toilets dont steal cars.

  • RyanGiggs - 2009-03-10 14:26

    Who cares about the champions league? If Fools had a choice between winning the CL or the premier league be honest u'd want the pl title but u havent won it for 20 years so dont hold your breath as its not going to happen anytime soon. Whats the difference between Liverpool and a teabag? A teabag stays in the cup longer.

  • the kop - 2009-03-10 15:41

    14th of sept 2008............... exact same comments were made by man benders utd............ Q.what do you call a man utd fan without arms or legs??? A. trustworthy........

  • Ziah Hayat - 2009-03-10 15:42

    Liverpool fans you all have typicall mentality about your histroy blah blah blah but how much can you boast about in the last 2 decades besides picking up the CL.Your league form just hasn't measured up and United have been unstoppable and with the current side will continue to dominate English football for many years...as well as European and World Club football...eat your hearts out Liverpool how many decades have you been walking alone now?

  • TMan - 2009-03-10 16:01

    @ RyanGiggs...geez Ryan..how immature can your comments possibly be? put your toys away and go do your homework...!!!Liverpool are the best club in England -that's a fact, when United reaches 18 league titles and 5 European cups then talk...for now sssshhhh...and accept the fact that Man U are playing catch up.

  • Mokhatu - 2009-03-10 16:27

    RyanGiggs who are you to call others fools, you are the bigger fool for thinking the CL is nothing but goes all the way out to fight for it fooooooooool

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-10 16:33

    We will never walk alone! I support my team, manager, all the staff. Manchester fans can talk all they want they know that Liverpool is a great team even at a fraction of the cost of other Teams like(Manchester,Chelsea,Tottenham(YES),Arsenal,Real,etc). Stopping being cocky Manchester fans and support football.

  • RyanGiggs - 2009-03-10 18:52

    Simple question: If pool are so great how is it that they havent won the premier league in TWENTY YEARS (20)? can u lot count to 20? Say it like this T W E N T Y Y E A R S buncha Fools, point is u lot want to win the league more than u want the CL but its not going to happen and thats a FACKT.

  • Philip du Plessis - 2009-03-11 09:29

    Sigh, when will Liverfooleans learn not to take things too literally. Within 2 seasons, we will equal the Champions League record you dingbats hold, as well as having more league titles. Fact. And for the record, in the last 20 years, which English team has won more Champions League trophys? Whats that? I cant hear you? The sound of silence is deafening, sort of like Anfield when you guys lose....

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-11 09:38

    Kop, I see you single some strange tunes here. First you praise our team as being best in the world, then you slam us. I think a Liverfoolean split personality is getting hold of you. Sort out where your heart lies and then try to comment on Man U.

  • the kop - 2009-03-11 09:53

    RyanGiggs 3/10/2009 6:52 PM------> took utd 26 years before 1993 ...... dont worry guys like all utd supporters if chelsea were on top in the 90's these brainless fans would have shouted for them........

  • the kop (original) - 2009-03-11 10:06

    Anonymous User 3/11/2009 9:38 AM------> no buddy,some other blooger is using the same nick, i guess a utd low life....

  • Blood Red - 2009-03-11 12:29

    Manchester United....so called best team in the world (LOL) Trying since 1892 to achieve what the BEST club Liverpool FC has achieved. Oh & they still trying. IF Manure wins the EPL, all they do is equal a record of what Liverpool FC holds currently & have been holding for decades. Watch this space...a new record will be set & it wont be Manure or any other club but LFC setting it. All you so-called Manure fans didnt even know Manure before they won their lucky treble. Now you want to talk as though they were the best & will always be the best. All you Manure fans go play with the smaller clubs, Manure aint even on LFC level. "You'll never walk alone"

  • LFC fan - 2009-03-11 13:01

    typical Manure fans. always claiming about being the best, Bla bla bla.....these wankers dont even know about football. they playing catchup and think they are the best thing ever. great clubs dont start winning in the last decade. im sure most of you only support Manure because you'll love seeing cry baby (Christina Rollover) without his shirt. look what we did to Real last night and know that we will be doing the same to Manure this weekend. the same thing we did to you'll that last time we met.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-11 15:19

    To all the Liverpool fans - why do you focus so much on Man Utd and not on your own teams performance. Remember, there are 38 games in a season and to win or lose a league is not entirely dependant on beating Man Utd. It is true that there has always been fantastic rivalry between the supporters of the two clubs and I also remember that in the 1980's which were in effect the heydays for Liverpool FC, the arrogance portrayed by all LFC supporters. It is now the turn of Man U, CFC and to a lesser extent AFC supporters to have things to cheer and to be proud of so please allow us that privilege - do not bask in the glory of past achievements we have only the present and the future is as yet unwritten - hey who knows maybe this year (or the next, or the next...) will be LFC's - who knows? p.s Congrats to LFC on a fantastic win over Real pps The format of the Champion's League over the past 8-10 years allow non-Champions to compete as well. Cherio

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-11 16:27

    Ryan what do you call 2 man holding hands? Man united

  • Drakkar - 2009-03-12 01:37

    Let's set the record straight... Liverpool have won only ONE champions league title. In the old European Cup it was straight knockout so Liverpool only had to win six games to become champs. In the champions league you have to win six just to be guaranteed of a place in the knockout stages. CL is much more difficut to win and Man Utd have done that twice. The records Liverpool holds on to belong in the past....... like the club itself. They should change their name to "Next Year Football Club" because all we hear in the present day from Liverpool is how "next year" they will turn the corner..... YAWN!!!!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 08:29

    Ahem Drakkar, you are right. Liverfool won the Champions league only once. And here they go boasting and holding onto the belief that they will brag for a few more seasons. Shame on all Liverfooleans for trying to dredge up the past like that. Win the Champions League and you are equal with with best team in the world, else just shut the hell up

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 09:17

    hahaha, i thought i heard all the excuses from manure fans but this Drakkar dude takes it to a new low :-) what will they come up with next ? they are scared, that's why their fans are always posting on our articles !

  • the kop (original) - 2009-03-12 09:26

    european teams are the best in the world, liverpool for the past 5years have been the number 1 team in europe from uefa stats........ eish that must hurt the man benders fan........considering benders won it last year and still we are ahead on rankings.....shame......

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 11:35

    These Manure fans have sunk to a new low in terms of excuses ! A rose by any other name .... yeah, you've heard it before, but i'll remind you, Old big ears is permanently on display in the already full Anfield trophy room coz', like the song says, WE WON IT 5 TIMES !

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 12:43

    To all the liverfool fans out there its a crying shame that you cant count, you should ask your useless coach Benitez to buy an abacus. Then next year you can have 3 decent players, Torres, Stevie G and Abacus. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE winners trophies - Liverfool 1, Manchester United 2. Pigears my rear. Lets get real, jealousy makes you nasty and nasty makes you born close to AnusField.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 13:47

    DRAKAR....funny enough Ferguson is drinking formaldehyde to live long enough to reach but ONE of our milestones....he will have to be put in cryo freeze and reanimated to see MAN UTD reach the others...it takes MANURE UTD too long to sniff enuff of their emissions to win anything....Ferguson took over in 1986...its 2009 already!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 14:03

    Lets get one thing straight, Liverpool have never won the ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE. They won the old League one, not quite the same as the reigning champions of England, Europe and oh wait, yes of course, THE WORLD!!!!! Loserfools are no more the best club in England or Europe than I am president of the USA.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 14:47

    the abacus says the last time these 2 met, Liverpool won 2-1. This from a "neutral" fan. Looks like the Man Utd supporters are talking MUCH more than the Liverpool fans. Credit must be given to the Reds. 4-0 flattered R. Madrid, not Liverpool. It could have been MUCH worst for them if it wasn't for Casillas. And before these 2 clashed, everyone said Liverpool were in for a hiding from an in-form R. Madrid

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 15:59

    All you guys are pathetic. Grow up and support whoever you want, afterall, it is a free world.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-12 20:51

    MAKE US GROW UP! HAHAHHAHA

  • Drakkar - 2009-03-12 23:10

    So I have upset all the (chopped) liver-pool fans.... or should I say liver-poo ... Shame...... There is one ship that will never dock in Liverpool and that is the premiership!!!! How many times in the past few years has United beaten you a-holes???? You win one game (we actually scored for you) and you brag. That is pitiful. But then so is the club you support. There is a universal law and it states...... Man United Rules!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-13 08:56

    This is hillarious. People getting so upset about this and we are not even english. hahahaha. stupid people, it's just a game.

  • 3-0 - 2009-03-13 08:59

    How can the Scousers possibly argue this "better team" subject. Yes in the early 1900 era you dominated. Without a shadow of a doubt, I will give it to you. There you go, its yours. now lets move on to the last 15 years. You won the champions league. Well done again. Typically, you have to argue that Man United are the better team at this present moment. You HAVE to. We are leading the table by 7 with a game in hand, we are in the semi for the FA Cup, in the quaters for the UEFA, and we have just come off winnning the Carling Cup, and we won The world club cup before that. How do you argue with that? the 2 season prior to this, We got the League, and last season we got the UEFA. Ronaldo swept the floor when it came to awards, and Ferguson swept the floor with managers awards? Now what exactly is the problem. I see the same few, arguing in the year 2068, telling your grandkids that Liverpool were legends, over 100 years ago Blah blah blah. Then your Grandkids are going to be telling their friends how old school they are and how they would rather support United. Please just think logically, put the beer down, and take your hands off your wifes throat. You can confiscate the weed your son stole out of your drawer later. "shhhhhhhhhhh, can you hear that?......it sounds like they are engraving M A N C H E S T E R U N I T E D 2 0 0 8 / 2 0 0 9 on the trophy again............ Point proven. Go to bed girls.

  • Rolls Royce - 2009-03-13 09:32

    Everton are the future of English football,not long to go.....only us and Arsenal have never been relegated

  • jag - 2009-03-13 10:18

    drakkar sound like one of those 15 yr old united supporters(majority are).if pool won 1 champions league(excluding 4 european cups),how can you guys have 17 league titles-by adding old FIRST DIVISION to premier league?

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-13 12:11

    I Have a Dream... ....that all Liverpool supporters please stop concentrating on past highlights achieved over decades and decades and concentrating on winning the bloody league - Who knows maybe then the teams achievements can catch up with the ego levels of their S'African supporters. ....that the current Liverpool team can play against a top Premiership team and beat them when the final whistle blows and the opposition still have 11 players on the field...may then can LFC win the league. On another issue being Voted #1 means that you have to live up to that expectation by delivering on performance. Case in hand SA Cricket were #1 test playing nation but that counts for squat if they get walloped in their next game.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-13 12:20

    at the height of liverpools greatness (and they still are the most sucessfull team in the history of english football, lets not mention the 7 years of european isolation after heysel, where they would have qualified about 5 times to play in europe and considering that they reached 5 finals in 8 years before that, of which they won 4, its safe to say that they would have bagged another 3 with the consistency they showed, and continue to in that competition, but lets not mention that right), as i was saying at the height of their powers they were mangaed by at least 4 different managers, lets see what United are made of when fergie goes. its funny cos i remember that liverpools fall from grace came strangely after their famed former goalkeeper was alleged to have been involved in some or other payment scandel for letting in goals at that time. Carte Blanche showed video footage of that. but ja nee, lets see what happens when fergie goes.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-13 12:23

    shame poor united fans, depite all their sucess, they still suffer from Liverpool envy. tsk tsk tsk tsk

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-13 12:31

    jag! win the premier league then talk!

  • RyanGiggs - 2009-03-13 13:20

    Get a new abacus anonymous 2:47 and put the game in context. Fools failed to score in SEVEN successive PL meets with United before the 2-1 win. United beat Fools 3-0 last year this time.Fools have not done a double over United in SEVEN seasons. Fools have not won at OT since a 1-0 win on 24 April 2004. Fergie leads Rafa 7 wins to 2 head to head. United vs Fools head to head (PL): United 18 wins Fools 8 Draws 7. We in the pound seats to thrash Fools tommorow.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-13 15:12

    Did u know that: "SPOT THE ENGLISHMAN"...is the latest gameshow being played during a Liverpool game.

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