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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
Benitez boosted by Bordeaux win
Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez was impressed by Liverpool's display in France
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez feels his side are in good shape for Sunday's trip to Manchester United after their 1-0 victory over Bordeaux.

The win in France was the Reds' first away success of the season and Benitez said: "It is a good win for confidence and a big boost for the players.

"The lads worked really hard, scored a good goal and could have had more.

"It was a pity we did not add a second goal because we had a nervous end to the game where we had some problems."

Benitez added: "We head to United with more confidence and hopefully with more players.

"Dirk Kuyt and Momo Sissoko came on in this game and we also hope Steven Gerrard will be fit."

Goalscorer Peter Crouch was singled out for special praise by Benitez who explained: "I was pleased with Peter.

It may look like we are close now but it is very hard to win games at this level and we will take nothing for granted

Rafa Benitez

"He missed a couple in the first half but what you must do is to keep going for them, and that is what he did.

"For a striker the key is to keep going, you must have that mentality if you want to win anything. And that is what Peter did."

PSV's victory in Turkey means they and Liverpool lead the way in Group C with seven points, ahead of Bordeaux and Galatasaray who have one apiece.

"The way the group is working out, this was a very important game to win," Benitez said.

"There are three games left, but a clean sheet and an away win is vital at this stage. It may look like we are close now, but it is very hard to win games at this level and we will take nothing for granted now with two home games coming next.

"We still have Galatasaray away, but the group now depends on the next two home games with Bordeaux and PSV."

Bordeaux manager Ricardo Gomes conceded his side's chances of qualifying are slim.

Gomes said: "We did things really well for long spells, but we just could not get through Liverpool's defence.

"Our task has become very, very difficult. A hard task, but it is not totally over because football can change. But at this stage we know how tough it will be to qualify."

Bordeaux 0-1 Liverpool
18 Oct 06 |  Europe


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