Rafa Benitez isn’t one to get carried away with a 3-0 first leg lead, but today the boss insisted the reds are peaking at just the right time in the season – hopefully one of the products of his squad rotation.
“It is clear that we are closer and closer to what we want,” he said. “Our form has improved slowly to a point where we are approaching a peak at the right time.
“Maybe we will play in the semi-final now, but what is important is that our confidence is growing and our form with it.
“I believe that this is a better side than the one that won in Istanbul – we have signed better players and others have gained more experience in Europe – but football must always be one step at a time.
“We know that any semi-final against either Chelsea or Valencia would be a very difficult tie for us, but I can say I am happy with the progress of our side, its fitness and improvement.
“I can see we are closer to our objectives, but we just play every game with our people fully concentrated on what we are doing.
“What we did in Eindhoven was almost perfect, but there is no room for complacency.”