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Benitez targets faultless run-in

Benitez says his side are growing confidence

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has set Liverpool the target of winning their remaining nine games if they want to clinch the league title.

The Reds have not won the title since 1990 but a 4-1 win at Manchester United has given Benitez confidence.

"We have beaten Real Madrid and Manchester United in the same week. If we can beat them, we can beat anybody," said the Spaniard.

"Realistically, we have to win all of our games."

Benitez added: "We have more belief and more confidence now and we can stay closer to them. It will be difficult but we can do it.

"You never know what can happen in football but we know how much experience and quality United have in their squad."

It was Liverpool's biggest win at their fierce rivals since 1936 and they closed the gap at the top of the league to four points, although United also have a game in hand.

"We have shown the way," said Benitez. "United have been playing with so much confidence. At least people will now see that they can lose.

"The message is there for everyone. In attack they are fantastic. You can see the quality they have. But in defence they have some weaknesses and we tried to exploit them."

He also hailed the influence of Torres and Gerrard on the performance at Old Trafford.

"Torres and Gerrard are obviously key players for us," admitted Benitez. "When they are on the pitch the rest of the team has more confidence."

Gerrard praises 'magic' Torres

Because of injuries to the formidable pair, they have only played together nine times in the league.

But captain Gerrard believes if Torres can remain fit until the end of the season, the title race will go down to the wire.

He told BBC Sport: "He's magic. I know I'm going to be biased but I don't think that anyone will argue against me that he's the best striker in the world.

"If we keep him fit from now to the end of the season, it's going to be an exciting finish.

"I believe that If we'd had him fit for more games we'd be closer or even in front of United."

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see also
Premier League as it happened
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
14 Mar 09 |  Football

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