Post match – Chelsea defeat

Following on from last night’s 3-1 defeat by Chelsea we’ve got a brief round up of players and managers post match comments.

Rafa Benitez

“We scored first but after that we were never in control.

“We conceded a bad equaliser from a set-piece. That was not because of the zonal marking but because players made mistakes to allow people space and time.

“For their first goal there were three players near to the scorer and they were not able to stop him.

“We know we have a difficult task in the second leg. We have to score three times – and that will be very difficult but we must believe we can do it.

“We have scored four at Manchester United, so we know what we are capable of.

“Chelsea did not really surprise us and they clearly believe that this is the competition they have most chance of winning now.

“They have won many away games this season but the way we lost was hard to take.”

Guus Hiddink

“We worked hard to stop their weapons – Gerrard and Torres.

“Michael Essien was the key for us in midfield. Not only did he follow Gerrard everywhere but he was able to be the starting point to many of our attacks.

“We also felt we could have some success attacking at corners, with the way they use their zonal marking. We managed some real benefits from that.

“I admit it was an unexpected result but we are very happy with the win and it was well deserved.

“Once we had got the equaliser we did not sit back and be content with the draw. We felt we could score more – and that is what we did.

“We pinpointed areas where we could hurt them. The team could smell that and they took advantage.

“We talked about that situation again at the break and made sure we continued in the same way

“In the next game we have to be very concentrated.

“We can’t take it lightly because Liverpool have proven in the past that they can surprise.”

Alvaro Arbeloa

“We can do it – why not? We believe we can. We have to go there and fight, try to get one goal and then think about another.

“Liverpool won a Champions League final by scoring three goals in 45 minutes, so why can’t we get three in 90?

“I think we have to remember Istanbul and believe. We know it’s going to be difficult to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge but it’s not over.

“Maybe we defended too deep after the first goal – we gave them too much of the ball. We conceded and that was painful – and then we conceded again.”

Lucas Leiva

“We know it will be really difficult but it’s not impossible. Chelsea came here and scored three, and we have the quality to do the same there.

“We will have to try until the very last minute at Stamford Bridge. I think we need the perfect performance.

“It’s a different game but we have shown already this season we can win 4-1 at places like Old Trafford.”

“We are really disappointed but we have to forget about this now because we have a really important game on Saturday, then the second leg.

“We can’t talk too much now about the Champions League because we have a massive game in two days’ time against Blackburn.

“It is impossible not to think about this game afterwards when you go home, but at training the next day you have to focus on Blackburn. Hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes because we still have chances in the title race.”

Pepe Reina

“You are always disappointed when you concede, but especially from set-pieces. It’s something we’ll have to work on.

“It’s always the same when we concede goals from free-kicks – people start talking about man marking and zonal. But we’ve done it for five years and, although I don’t have the statistics, I know we’re one of the teams that concedes fewest from set pieces.

“They were the better team and they deserved the victory,. We now have to improve on everything we did on the night and be ready for the second leg.

“It’s going to be much tougher to win the trophy now – we have to go there and win 3-1 or 3-0. But we can go to any stadium and win.

“Of course the 4-1 at Old Trafford gives us hope – it shows us what we can do at any stadium. We won like that at Old Trafford, why not at Stamford Bridge?

“It has to be a perfect performance. We have to have a great day and they must have one of their worst.”

John ‘Classless’ Terry

“I said to Stevie I was disappointed to see his team-mates surrounding the referee demanding a yellow card. I felt I went for the ball, that’s all I ever do as a player.

“I spoke to Reina after the game and he said it wasn’t a yellow. He was honest with me, I don’t mind that. But on the pitch it’s disappointing. He knew I was on a yellow and he was asking for it.

“When Alonso got booked a few years ago he was crying after the game. This is the same situation and it’s very disappointing when fellow professionals ask for the yellow card.”

Leave your own comments in either the match report or in the post match forum topic.

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