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Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 09:20 UK

Angry Benitez demands improvement

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Benitez criticised the attitude of his players

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has vowed his side will "never again" be as bad as during their 2-0 Champions League defeat at Fiorentina on Tuesday.

Stevan Jovetic scored twice to give the Serie A side a crucial Group E win.

And a furious Benitez said: "There were too many mistakes and problems. Our mentality in the first half was not right, we were bad all over the pitch.

"I cannot really recall a performance like that. We certainly will never be as bad again."

Liverpool threatened more in the second half but by then the damage was done as Fiorentina's defence held firm to close out the win.

Lyon head the group on six points and the Merseysiders are third - behind second-placed Fiorentina on goal difference.

Benitez believes there was a lack of intensity from his players against the Italian side and stated: "They were on top of us all the time, we played badly and they were just better than us.

"I was not only disappointed with the challenging in midfield but all over the pitch.

"But they did not produce anything we did not expect. We had watched them, we knew about Jovetic, there was nothing new out there that surprised us but we still played badly."

And the Spaniard urged his side to get to grips with the offside law.


Adrian Mutu was in an offside position when the onside 19-year-old Jovetic went through on goal to put La Viola ahead and Benitez was left bemused by his shaky defence and added: "It is the new law -and another mistake by us.

"If a player is in such a position he is offside and it makes it difficult for defenders who are distracted by him but the law says the other player coming from deep is fine, he can go through. Just another error by us."

However, Benitez insisted Reds supporters would see a vast improvement in coming weeks, starting with Sunday's crunch Premier League tie against Chelsea.

"We now have Chelsea away at the weekend in an important Premier League game," he said. "I believe you will see a different Liverpool in that match, a totally different performance with a different mentality.

"Then we have Lyon home and away in this group, they are the leaders and it means we have to now win them both.

"Mentally we will have better days than this."

Stevan Jovetic
I was delighted with Jovetic. I have always said he has great talent

Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli

Understandably, Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli was in joyous mood after the game as his side maintained their unbeaten home record so far this season.

"We were fantastic, that is the best performance I have seen by a Fiorentina side in the four years I have been in charge," he enthused.

"Liverpool did not play well but that was because of the performance of my team. We were outstanding, especially in that first half when we were just fantastic.

"The pressure we put Liverpool under all over the pitch was wonderful to watch but although we played well, I believe we can still improve - and we will have to if we are to qualify from this group.

"To have beaten such a great team with such brilliant players was an achievement but we must not waste this and we now need to keep winning in this group.

He added: "I was delighted with Jovetic. I have always said he has great talent but last season maybe he did not play for the team, now is working for everyone else and he is gaining his rewards."

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see also
Fiorentina 2-0 Liverpool
29 Sep 09 |  Europe
Tuesday's Champions League review
29 Sep 09 |  Europe
Tuesday football as it happened
29 Sep 09 |  Football
Champions League photos
29 Sep 09 |  Europe
Arsenal 2-0 Olympiakos
29 Sep 09 |  Europe

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