FOOTBALL : Rafael Benitez is not giving up on Liverpool’s bid to reach the Champions League knock-out stages and believes another “miracle” can happen.
Rafael Benitez is not giving up on Liverpool’s bid to reach the Champions League knock-out stages and believes another “miracle” can happen.
Benitez revealed the fighting spirit of his Liverpool team is giving him the strength to continue as manager after they suffered another huge setback. Liverpool threw away a lead to draw 1-1 against Lyon last night, a result that will make it difficult for them to advance from Group E, given they are now five points behind second-placed Fiorentina with two rounds of games to play.
“We have to keep going, and try to win,” Benitez said. “We have achieved miracles before and we can do it again.”
The Liverpool boss saw victory snatched from his team by Lyon, who equalised through Lisandro in the dying seconds, after Ryan Babel had scored from 25 yards with just seven minutes to go.
Asked about his own feelings and the pressure he is under, Benitez said: “It is simple for me to keep my head high, and that is by watching the players on the pitch and seeing their performances, hearing the fans singing after the game because they know that we are improving and getting better.”
Liverpool must rely on Lyon avoiding defeat to Fiorentina in their next match, and take maximum points themselves from the final group matches against Debrecen and the Italian club.
Benitez explained the bitter frustration among his players after they let their lead slip away.
He said: “We have to be really disappointed, we had so many chances and we were almost there.
“But again it was a late goal by Lyon, and it is a massive difference for us.
“Clearly it is difficult now, but not impossible. We have to win our next game in Debrecen and wait to see what the result is between Fiorentina and Lyon.”