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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 05:13 GMT 06:13 UK
Liverpool defeat dismays Benitez
Rafael Benitez
Benitez's side are 11 points behind leaders United
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez did not hide his dismay after his side's sorry 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.

"It is clearly one of my most disappointing days as manager of the club," said the Spaniard.

"It is a game I know everybody at the club and the supporters want us to win, particularly at Old Trafford."

The Reds are now 11 points behind leaders United and Benitez added: "I know we are a better squad than last season but we have to prove that."

Benitez's side have scored only one away goal - a penalty - in the Premiership this season and rarely looked like finding the net as they slumped to defeat at Old Trafford.

"Away from home we need to win to improve confidence," said Benitez. "We are controlling long spells of games, getting the ball into danger areas but not causing defences problems.

We needed to win a big one and the boys did not let us down

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson

"I felt we started the game well but we didn't create enough. We had some chances and good possession but we could not create clear openings.

"Things were OK until we conceded the first goal. That changed the game for both sides."

And Benitez does not believe the solution to Liverpool's problems lies in moving Steven Gerrard into central midfield from the right.

"If you have Momo Sissoko and Xabi Alonso doing well in the middle and Stevie scoring goals like he did last season, then you will do well," he said.

"Last season, we were much better away from home and we are looking at the same defenders and the same midfielders who were in that position last season."

United went ahead towards the end of the first half through Paul Scholes, who scored on his 500th appearance for the club.

"I think we played really well, although we have played better this season," said the 31-year-old midfielder.

"The most important thing was to beat Liverpool and go a good few points clear of them, as well as staying up there with Chelsea."

On his landmark appearance, Scholes added: "It didn't feel any different. It was just a game - and one we had to win."


United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for Scholes, who made his Premiership debut against Ipswich in 1994.

"It was a great moment," said Ferguson of Scholes' 39th-minute strike against Liverpool.

"To make your 500th appearance against our biggest rivals and score was fantastic, not just for Paul but for all of us here.

"As a club, I think we can take special pride in Paul. He has never changed since he came here as a boy.

"He has always kept his feet on the ground and is a great credit to himself, his family and Manchester United."

Of his team's win, Ferguson added: "It was an excellent performance.

"After losing against Arsenal earlier in the season, we needed to win a big one and the boys did not let us down."

Man Utd 2-0 Liverpool
22 Oct 06 |  Premiership


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