Football

Benitez: We must win every battle

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Rafael Benitez has set Liverpool the target of winning all their remaining nine games if they want to wrestle the Premier League title away from Manchester United.

The Reds recorded their biggest win at Old Trafford since 1936 as they completed a 4-1 rout of Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who had Nemanja Vidic sent off near the end. It cut United's lead at the Premier League summit to four points, although they retain a game in hand.

"We have beaten Real Madrid and Manchester United in the same week," observed the Liverpool boss. "If we can beat them, we can beat anybody."

He added: "Realistically, we have to win all of our games. But part of winning the war is winning football matches.

"We have more belief and more confidence now. It will be difficult but we can do it."

Liverpool's win was more remarkable given Cristiano Ronaldo put the hosts in front from the penalty spot midway through the first half after Pepe Reina had sent Park Ji-sung tumbling.

But goals from Fernando Torres, a Steven Gerrard brace and Andrea Dossena's late lob capped a fine performance.

"Torres and Gerrard are obviously key players for us," admitted Benitez. "When they are on the pitch the rest of the team has more confidence."

It was a particularly pleasing result for Benitez given his recent outburst at Ferguson, now known as 'Rafa's rant'. Although it has been widely interpreted as a moment of folly, the Liverpool manager stands by his comments.

"What I said were facts," he said. "I did not say anything that wasn't true. Sir Alex Ferguson is a great manager and I have a lot of respect for him. But I have to defend my club."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Fernando Torres
Alex
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Nemanja Vidic
Steven Gerrard
Ji-Sung Park
Liverpool

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