You are viewing the content for Thursday 23 February 2006

Reds fired up for revenge

By Paul Walker
BENFICA have been warned they will have to survive a night of torment in front of the Kop if they want to reach the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Liverpool.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg at the Estadio la Luz, Reds skipper Sami Hyypia sees parallels between the task facing holders Liverpool in a fortnight and last season’s memorable final group match against Olympiacos.

Back in December 2004, the Greeks arrived at Anfield with Liverpool needing to score three times to qualify for the knock-out stages, which they did in spectacular fashion on their way to lifting the trophy.

Hyypia said: "We are inspired by what we did in such situations last season. Every game is different but we know what is needed.

"Even if it had stayed at 0-0, we would have had to win the second leg at Anfield to go through so it is very much something we were preparing for. Now we know what we have to do.

"It is important that we do not concede a goal, then if we get two we are through."

An under-par Liverpool were on course for a 0-0 draw in Lisbon before defender Luisao struck with a headed winner from a set-piece with just six minutes left.

Luisao got away from Hyypia’s challenge to head in Petit’s free kick, making the defeat doubly distressing for the Finland centre-back.

He said: "It was very disappointing to lose the way we did. We have seen the video of the match and you could see something like that set-piece was going to come, but we were caught sleeping there.

"It is a very painful way to lose the game, but it is not over yet. Now we know what we have to do at Anfield.

"It was very disappointing to lose in Lisbon, but it is only half way, there is a second leg. We are not happy about the result and we need to do better in the next one against them.

"I hope Liverpool supporters do what they always do and fill the stadium and give us every bit of support for the whole 90 minutes and then hopefully we can give something back to our fans. We can do it, they are a good team but we know we can do better. Now we have to put their defence under more pressure."

Hyypia’s defensive colleague Jamie Carragher was equally frustrated by the defeat, adding: "Before they scored I can’t remember a chance they had really, but it’s disappointing to lose a goal from a set-piece.

"It’s only half way. We can turn it around at Anfield and it’s up to us to try and break them down. We had a lot of the play, but what we have got to improve on is hurt teams a lot more than we did on Tuesday night."

Boss Rafael Benitez was fuming on the touchline when Liverpool conceded a set-piece he admitted he had pinpointed on videos before the match and had worked hard on countering in training.

He said: "We conceded a goal from a free-kick that we had seen beforehand and we warned the players to be careful in that situation.

"We were very disappointed with the result and how we conceded that goal. And the players will be as disappointed as me, when you work beforehand and you analyse a free-kick the opponents use, it is upsetting to let them score from it.

"Now we need to play much better at home. We need to score quickly and with the fans at Anfield creating the sort of atmosphere they do, I believe we can get the second goal then and go through.

"We have to create more chances. I have the confidence that we can do that."