Football

Benitez praises Gerrard restraint

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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez praised skipper Steven Gerrard's restraint after it appeared he was hit by missiles thrown by Marseille fans during Wednesday night's Champions League clash at Anfield.

Gerrard, who scored Liverpool's winner in the 1-0 victory over the French side that booked their place in the last 16, looked to have been the target as he waited to take a first-half corner.

Benitez said: "Gerrard was really good in that incident, maybe the UEFA delegate will notice what happened. Steven did well not to react."

Gerrard scored his 30th European goal, and fifth in this season's competition.

Benitez added: "Gerrard is a very, very good attacking midfielder, a very important player for us and his goal proved this."

Liverpool did not play well, but are through to the knockout stages.

Benitez said: "It is really important that we qualified for the next stage, we won and now we can approach the final game in a different way without any pressures.

"It was a strange game, we scored and controlled it, but they attacked and we were left to hit on the counter-attack. We could not find the final pass. The game was too open against a team with pace and ability.

"They came to attack and had three strikers and two more just behind. To contain five players with pace and ability is not easy.

"Our final pass, though, to (Fernando) Torres was too quick. We must work on that but the main thing was to win and to qualify, and we are very pleased."

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Topics:
European News
Football
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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