Football

Benitez: We can handle pressure

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez saw his side cement their place at the top of the Premier League and said: "We can manage the pressure."

Goals from Xabi Alonso, Yossi Benayoun and Steven Gerrard gave them a 3-1 victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Benitez said: "We have shown we can manage the pressure. When you have a game like this, you know you might have problems. But we were more clinical than other days and that is important with the Christmas programme coming up."

He added: "We are in a very good position so it is vital we play with confidence and that the players pass the ball well.

"We had plenty of possession in the first half and although we did not create many chances, Yossi could have scored.

"Then after we made the breakthrough, we created more space and had more options.

"It is important the strikers get goals and I am pleased when the midfielders do so as well. It does not matter to me who scores."

Benitez left Robbie Keane on the bench and then resisted the temptation to give him a run-out when Ryan Babel took a knock. Instead Nabil El Zhar was drafted in.

The Liverpool manager stressed it was purely a tactical decision.

He added: "Dirk Kuyt was doing really well and I just needed a different option in wide areas. That is why I did not choose Robbie."

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Topics:
Robbie Keane
Nabil El Zhar
Ryan Babel
Yossi Benayoun
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Xabi Alonso
Dirk Kuyt
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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