Football

Benitez sets sights on Pompey

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has called on his Barclays Premier League leaders to remain focused as they prepare to face managerless Portsmouth on Wednesday.

The Reds ended Chelsea's 86-match unbeaten home record with a 1-0 success at Stamford Bridge to go three points clear at the top on Sunday but Benitez is warning his players not to get carried away with the triumph - despite enjoying their best ever start to a Premier League campaign.

"We need three points in our next game against Portsmouth if we are going to keep this mentality," said Benitez.

"We have to come down and start thinking about Portsmouth. We knew it was important to beat Manchester United but then we drew with Stoke.

"But clearly if you want to stay at the top of the table for a long time you have to beat almost everyone because Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal will be behind you.

"To win at Chelsea and stay top of the table unbeaten is a massive message for the other teams. It was a massive game and to come here with the mentality we had and with the players showing the character they did, it was a big boost for the rest of the season.

"We have belief, we have quality and we have shown by coming from behind in other games this season, that we have character. At least this is enough to be top of the table for now."

Liverpool clinched victory thanks to Xabi Alonso's first-half shot which was deflected past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech by Jose Bosingwa. It was Chelsea's first defeat at home in the league since Arsenal beat them 2-1 in February 2004.

Now, Benitez believes Liverpool have the belief to go anywhere and win.

"We can go to any stadium and win games. Against a very good Chelsea team, a very offensive team, we showed we were thinking about winning," he added.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Portsmouth
Petr Cech
Stoke City
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Xabi Alonso
Manchester United
Jose Bosingwa
Liverpool

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