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Benitez fumes after Reds setback

Benitez frustrated by 'crazy' game

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez blamed a "crazy" second half after his team dropped more Premier League points with a 1-1 draw against Wigan.

Mido's late penalty saw Liverpool fall to third in the table and further dented their title hopes.

"I prefer not to say too much but I am not happy with a lot of things," said Benitez, whose team have drawn their last three league games.

"The second half was crazy and when it is crazy you cannot control things."

Steven Gerrard tries to hold off the challenge of Michael Brown
Steven Gerrard had to deal with the attentions of Wigan's Michael Brown
Benitez did not expand on what he meant by "crazy", and refused to say whether his opinion was linked to several physical challenges on Steven Gerrard by Wigan midfielder Michael Brown.

"I am disappointed with a number of things but no, the Wigan approach I will not talk about them," he added.

"It has happened in the last three games. They have something in common I don't like. I know why but I cannot say anything."

Prior to Wednesday's match at the JJB Stadium, Liverpool's previous two games were against rivals Everton and both finished 1-1.

Liverpool's latest result is their third consecutive draw in the league, and the Reds have not won a game since Benitez's outburst about title rivals Manchester United and their manager Sir Alex Ferguson at a news conference.

Yossi Benayoun had given Liverpool a first-half lead against Wigan with a brilliant finish from a tight angle - and it looked as though it would be enough to move the Reds level on points with United at the top of the table.

But Mido struck from the penalty spot on 83 minutes after Lucas Leiva had brought down Jason Koumas in the box.

"We are really disappointed," added Benitez.

"In the first half we played really well and controlled the game.

"We have lost two points. We were much better in the first half. We had control of the game. We didn't kill the game."

Benitez's team now face a huge game against Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.

Chelsea and Liverpool are level on points, though the London club have a superior goal difference.

"We have an important game on Sunday," said the Reds boss. "And if we play like we did in the first half we can beat anyone.

I'm sure Sir Alex Ferguson will be delighted with the result

Wigan boss Steve Bruce
"All the games will be important until the end of the season. It depends on the other teams too but we have to try to play well and try to win."

Wigan boss Steve Bruce paid tribute to his players after Mido's late goal ensured that the Latics avoided a third straight Premier League defeat.

"The resilience was there for all to see," said Bruce. "And we might have nicked it at the end.

"The squad are all playing well and bursting at the gut to get a game.

"We hope that Mido will be a really good addition. I have to say that all he has wanted to do since he got here is play football."

And with the result further undermining Liverpool's title campaign, former Manchester United defender Bruce added: "I'm sure Sir Alex Ferguson will be delighted."

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see also
Wigan 1-1 Liverpool
28 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
28 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Wednesday's football photos
28 Jan 09 |  Football
Benitez questions Everton tactics
25 Jan 09 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 1-1 Everton
25 Jan 09 |  FA Cup
Liverpool 1-1 Everton
19 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Stoke 0-0 Liverpool
10 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Benitez lays into rival Ferguson
09 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Rafael Benitez statement
09 Jan 09 |  Liverpool

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