Marseille post match reaction: Part 2

The inquest in to last night’s debacle at Anfield continued today with further comments from some of the players and Benitez himself who was bemused that ‘a team of such quality could pass so poorly’.


“We can’t use rotation as an excuse,” Carragher told The Liverpool Echo. “The manager’s done it for three years now and we’ve always done well in the Champions League and been in finals at the end of the season.

“But it’s difficult to say what did go wrong. We never played as well as we can and they played very well.

“It was probably a combination of us not playing as well as we can and them playing as well as they have for quite a while.”

“We’ve got to be confident. We’ve got a big, strong squad and the players have proved over the last few years that we are very good in this competition, so we will still have the confidence.

“We know it will be difficult but it’s up to us now to show the character and the quality to go through.

“We are making it tough for ourselves but there’s still four games in which we can get enough points.

“We didn’t play well tonight, we weren’t at our best and credit to Marseille because they played well. They deserved to win.

“Towards the end was probably the only time we put them under pressure.

“I don’t know what’s going wrong in Europe at the moment, because we’re doing well in the league and Carling Cup. It’s difficult to put your finger on it.

“We’ve got a big game now on Sunday and we want to go out on a win before the international break.”


“To lose at home is always difficult, especially for us because we’re used to winning every game here. We have to sort it out.

“Everything went wrong. It was disappointing because we never play like this. We were late and almost always behind the ball.

“Last year we were brilliant in the Champions League but started the Premier League poorly. Today it looks like it’s the other way round.

“I don’t know if we are more focused on the league but we need to learn from these mistakes. We have to talk about it today, analyse and stay calm.

“There is pressure but there’s pressure on any game – there’s always pressure to win when you wear a Liverpool shirt.

“We have two tough games against Besiktas now and then we host Porto – we have to make sure we do better.

“Now we must think about Tottenham on Sunday. We need three points because we’re at home and we will still be confident.”


“We know we are not doing our best in the Champions League but we can improve. We need to leave this game in the past and work hard in future.

“It’s difficult to explain what is happening because we have been doing well in the Premier League. We need to have the concentration to do well in both competitions.

“We have a strong team and we have to show that now. We still have four games to qualify. We think we are better than our rivals and we need to show that on the pitch.”


“It’d be nice to bounce back as soon as possible,” he said. “We’ve got to forget this game now and try to win on Sunday.

“It was our first defeat of the season and it’s disappointing, we didn’t play particularly well.

“It’s an uphill task but we’re capable of going to certain places and getting results. In the last few years we’ve shown that.

“We’re good enough to get through but a performance like that didn’t help.”


“We must improve, we must show our character now.

“We know we have to do better. We showed character to get a draw against Porto when we did not play well, and we showed character to win at Wigan last weekend in a hard match.

“Now we must show character against Tottenham. That is our first priority after the Marseille result.”

“It is not the changes, it is big players not playing well.”

“I chose Leto because he had been training well and he had played well in the Carling Cup on the left with Fabio Aurelio.

“I wanted to give him his chance because he had shown he was a player who could beat opponents with pace.

“But for me it is not right to talk about only one player, the whole team played badly.

“It is difficult to explain how a team of talented players like ours could give the ball away so much.

“Marseille played well, they pressed us hard and worked well. But we should have been able to create chances behind teams who attack and press like that.

“But we did not create any clear chances. We did have the options, but just failed to take advantage and you do not win if you do not create openings.”

“I decided not to change Momo Sissoko. I wanted to substitute Leto to try something different and then I wanted to change the strikers, but had to alter my thinking because Aurelio had picked up an injury and had to come off.

“I was more concerned with doing different things up front, but it was a very bad day for everyone. I prefer not to point the finger at any one player. The whole team played badly.”

Benitez made no excuses for the dire display, saying: “We did not deserve anything. From the beginning, the team did not play well. We were giving the ball away, losing second balls and not winning possession up front.

“It is very difficult to win a game like that. It was worse than in Porto in our first group match.

“Out there, particularly in the second-half, the team was well organised and showed character. This time, maybe with some anxiety because we were playing at home, many things were wrong.

“We were trying to do too much, to do everything and we needed to be calm and do the things that we would usually have done.”

“We are now going to have to win an away game, certainly the next away game with Besiktas.

“We need points quickly. There has been talk of us needing 10 or 12 points to qualify. Forget all this, we must concentrate first on winning the next group match.

“That is the situation, not what may happen later in the group.”

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