Football

Benitez: Reds nearly there

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Rafael Benitez believes if Liverpool win in his home city of Madrid in their next Champions League group match on October 22 they will have one foot in the knockout stage.

The Liverpool manager thinks one more point after that will see them qualify from Group D after watching his side secure a convincing 3-1 victory over out-classed Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven at Anfield Wednesday night.

The Spaniard said: "We have four games left in the group now, and we know from experience that you must fight to the bitter end. But I believe that 10 points will now be enough to see us into the next stage. We will try to win our next match away to Atletico Madrid, and then maybe just one more point will do."

Benitez hailed Liverpool's best-ever start to a group stage campaign. Coming after the opening win in Marseille last month, this is the first time Liverpool have taken a six-point maximum from their opening two matches at this stage.

With Atletico Madrid's win against Marseille, Liverpool and the Spanish club are now in a very strong position at the head of the group to both reach the knockout stage.

Benitez saw Robbie Keane score his first goal for the club, and skipper Steven Gerrard his 100th, after Dirk Kuyt had opened the scoring, before substitute Danny Koevermans grabbed a late consolation for the visitors.

Benitez said: "It was almost the perfect night. It was a really good game for us with lots of positive things, a solid performance with balance and quality.

"Now we must keep on winning. This is a very good start for us, different maybe from last season when we did not start our group matches that well.

"I was pleased for Robbie Keane. Now he has got his first European goal for us, I hope he will now score his first Premier League goal. I know Robbie will score a lot more goals for us in the future, so this was just the first step for him.

"I was pleased also for Steven Gerrard. For a midfielder to score 100 goals is very impressive. He is amongst the very best offensive midfield players anywhere."

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Topics:
Robbie Keane
European News
Football
Dirk Kuyt
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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