Benitez blames 'bad mistakes' for defeat

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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez admitted that his side now have a mountain to climb if they are to stay in the Champions League.

Convincingly beaten 3-1 in their quarter-final first leg by Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday night, Liverpool must now produce a miracle result at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday and score three times in 90 minutes.

He said: "I was disappointed with the manner of our defeat, and the bad mistakes we made at set pieces to allow them two goals. Now it will be very difficult. We have to score three times at Stamford Bridge, which is a tough call against a very good side."

The memory of Istanbul, and the four goals they scored at Manchester United this season, will sustain their stunned fans.

But Benitez insists that his first priority now is to stay in the Premier League title race by beating Blackburn on Saturday at Anfield.

He added: "Our first priority, though, is against Blackburn in the league, then we will see what we have to do at Chelsea."

Fernando Torres put Liverpool ahead early on, but two headers from set-pieces by Branislav Ivanovic put Chelsea in control, with Didier Drogba snatching a third to make the Merseysiders' task even more difficult.

Benitez said: "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. And then something very similar happened for the second, we made bad mistakes at crucial times.

"Now 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."

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Branislav Ivanovic
Didier Drogba
European News
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Fernando Torres
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United

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