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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
Milan hold no fears for Benitez
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez has insisted Liverpool will not fear whoever they face in the Champions League final in Istanbul.

AC Milan look set to make the final, leading PSV Eindhoven 2-0 ahead of the second leg in Holland on Wednesday.

"Each time this season the favourites against us have lost, we would be happy to have the same situation," he said after his side's 1-0 win over Chelsea.

"We need to wait to see the team that we play against but it's the same to us either way."

He added: "Normally it would be AC Milan, with the experience of Italian teams and being 2-0 up.

"But after that, why can't we win? If we have beaten Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea, why not AC Milan or PSV? It's possible, for sure.

"If you play in the final, it's for winning, not for losing."

Benitez had declared his confidence that Liverpool would make it past Chelsea and that belief was fully justified as they rose to the occasion in front of a packed Anfield.

It's good for English football to have a team in the final
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

There was still considerable controversy over their match-winning goal, with William Gallas insisting that he cleared the ball off the line.

However, referee Lubos Michel and assistant Roman Slysko concluded that Luis Garcia's effort had crossed the line before Gallas' intervention.

Liverpool then held on for their first European Cup final in 20 years since the ill-fated game at the Heysel Stadium in 1985.

They are also the first English club to make the final since Manchester United beat Bayern Munich in dramatic fashion in 1999.

And Benitez, who won the Uefa Cup with Valencia last season, insisted his team was ready to battle for the club's fifth European Cup triumph and paid tribute the fans.

Benitez said: "It's good for English football to have a team in the final and we will do our best for English football.

"To work hard and have our supporters behind us and believing until the end, you run a little bit more.

"Before, I said that they were maybe the best supporters in England. Now maybe they are the best supporters in Europe."

Interview: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

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