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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez predicts Anfield comeback

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Benitez's side have won just one of their last eight away games

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has backed his players to recover from a goal down and advance from their Europa League last-16 tie against Lille.

A late Eden Hazard goal inflicted a 1-0 first-leg defeat on the Reds, but Benitez is hoping the Anfield crowd can spur his side on in the return match.

"I am confident we can beat anyone at Anfield on our day with the fans behind us," he said.

"We were just not strong enough today but there is still 90 minutes to play."

Benitez's side had chances to score before Hazard broke the deadlock in the 85th minute and the Spaniard believes his team must be more clinical in the second leg on 18 March.

"When you play away you have to score when you have chances. To score an early goal you can manage the game but we worked hard today," added Benitez.

Liverpool's defeat in France follows Benitez's demands for improvement in the wake of a 1-0 loss away to Wigan in the Premier League on Monday.

Despite the result Benitez believes his side did respond to his criticism.

"It was an improvement from the last game. The players' reaction has been very positive," he stated.


"I am disappointed with the result but really pleased with the effort of the players. They were fantastic today."

"It was against a good team on a difficult pitch."

Liverpool are in sixth position in the Premier League having played more games than each of their rivals for the fourth Champions League qualifying position.

They face bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth in their next match on 15 March before Lille arrive on Merseyside.

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see also
Benitez predicts Anfield comeback
11 Mar 10 |  Europe
Europa League as it happened
11 Mar 10 |  Europe
Lille 1-0 Liverpool
11 Mar 10 |  Europe
Thursday's football photos
11 Mar 10 |  Football
Benitez hits out at Reds attitude
08 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Wigan 1-0 Liverpool
08 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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