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Page last updated at 23:02 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 00:02 UK

Half-time anger inspires Chelsea

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We were angry at half-time - Hiddink

Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink has revealed an angry half-time team talk was the inspiration behind the Champions League fightback against Liverpool.

Liverpool, needing to win by three goals, were 2-0 up at half-time but then Chelsea scored three times.

The Reds scored twice more but Chelsea made it 4-4 (7-5 on aggregate) and booked a semi-final tie with Barcelona.

"Sometimes you lose your temper. But they reacted and they knew the first half was not OK," said Hiddink.

"We were angry because we didn't start as we planned and we know Liverpool are a good team tactically with very skilful players.

"Tactically but also mentally we said to each other, that it was not the way we would start the second half. That's why I like to work with this team, it reacts."

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Chelsea were lacklustre in the first half and goals from Fabio Aurelio and Xabi Alonso gave the visitors a deserved lead.

"You cannot give them a lot of space but we did. We dropped back too much and looked for safety," said Hiddink.

However, goals from Didier Drogba, Alex and Frank Lampard put the Blues back in charge and despite late goals from Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt, Lampard's second sealed a thrilling result.

"We knew that we could score and happily we did rather early after the beginning of the second half," said Hiddink.

We did a fantastic job - Benitez

Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez was immensely proud of his players after they almost achieved another sensational European fightback.

"We showed character, quality and we have to be really proud," said Benitez.

"The players have done a fantastic job and the fans will be very pleased with the team.

"We are not happy with the result. When you lose you are disappointed but to lose in this way, the players have to be really proud and hold their heads up high."

Benitez also revealed captain Steven Gerrard was not selected in the squad because of the injury problem that kept him out of the 4-0 Premier League win over Blackburn last Saturday.

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"We thought he could be OK but in the end he felt something. It was an easy decision because he could not play," said Benitez.

"To lose a key player is always important and especially a player like Gerrard but credit to the other players because they did a fantastic job.

Chelsea will face Barcelona in the last four of the competition after the Spanish club drew 1-1 at Bayern Munich to seal a 5-1 aggregate victory in their quarter-final tie.

"Barcelona are a very advanced team with very skilful players. They know how to handle the pace. I like their philosophy of football," Hiddink added.

"They sign players who are attractive to watch. They like to play advanced attacking football and it is difficult to play them because they are a top side."



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see also
Champions League as it happened
14 Apr 09 |  Europe
Chelsea admit Hiddink will leave
13 Apr 09 |  Chelsea
Liverpool 1-3 Chelsea
08 Apr 09 |  Europe


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