Monday 24th April 2006


Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso thinks that the reds are near to really challenging the top of the table for next season.

"This season we have won a lot of games but struggled against the top teams so we wanted to show what we could do on Saturday," said Alonso.

"In key games in cups we've shown we can beat Chelsea by playing good football and it's extra special to beat them in such an important game. It shows we're getting there and that we're improving.

"In the first half we kept possession better than them and created the better chances. We should have scored more than one goal.

"When we got the second goal in the second half we were in a good position but we knew if they scored one goal it would be a big boost for them. That happened and they put a lot of pressure on us but we held on.

"We know we will be favourites in the final because of our position in the league, but it will be tough.

"Our recent performances should give us confidence and we want to carry on from here. We want to start challenging for the title soon and that has to be our target next season."

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