Liverpool boss still looking at the positives

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For the 10th time in the Barclays Premier League this season Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was left trying to accentuate the positives after a defeat.

The 2-1 reverse against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday was another blow to the Reds' hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. His side dropped to sixth after both Tottenham and Manchester City won over the weekend and they are now four points adrift of fourth place.

"We had 90 minutes to do well but sometimes you cannot and then you have to understand the team is still strong and we were solid," said Benitez

"It was close but the little things make a difference. United at Old Trafford didn't create too much so that is a positive.

"Hopefully we can take this for the future and win our games and see what happens with the other teams."

The over-riding momentum of the game swung as early the 10th minute when Antonio Valencia fell in the area under a challenge from Javier Mascherano which began well outside the box. Referee Howard Webb, however, pointed to the spot and although Jose Reina brilliantly saved Wayne Rooney's shot he was powerless to prevent the United forward tucking away the rebound.

That levelled things up at 1-1 as Fernando Torres' fifth-minute header from Dirk Kuyt's cross extended the Spain international's run of scoring against their arch-rivals to three matches. From that point United looked the more likely to score and the goal duly came on the hour when Park Ji-sung dived in to head Darren Fletcher's cross.

Benitez disagreed with Webb - and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on the touchline - about the award of the penalty.

"We scored a great goal but conceded the penalty too early," said the Spaniard. "If we'd had some time to settle down and to control maybe they could have been more nervous and we could have managed in a different way.

"If you see the replay. The way he (Valencia) went to the ground was not normal but I don't want to talk about this too much."

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