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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 January 2006, 20:09 GMT
Benitez accuses 'complacent' Reds
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez accused his players of complacency, despite their incredible 5-3 FA Cup third round victory away at Luton.

Benitez said: "The problem was we scored too early and we thought the game was going to be easy.

"When we woke up the score was 3-1 to them. We got back into it and kept going forward, but you cannot afford to wait until the second half to play.

"I was not happy with the performance. We gifted them so many chances."

I cannot fault the players for their honesty and their commitment but it's a disappointing day
Luton boss Mike Newell

Benitez was livid that Luton's Paul Underwood was not sent off after bringing down Steven Gerrard for a penalty, but he praised the hosts for their display.

"In the six-yard box, if it's a penalty it has to be a red card," added Benitez.

"If it's not a foul, fine, then it is also no penalty. It would have made a big difference, to have 10 players instead of 11.

"But Luton did a fantastic job, they really played well. Their supporters were great but so were ours too."

Luton manager Mike Newell was distraught after seeing his side concede four second-half goals but did not blame his team for their defeat.

"I'm majorly disappointed, we put on a good peformance in the first half and at 3-1 up you have to be able to shut up shop and close it out," he said.

"But I cannot fault the players for their honesty and their commitment.

"The lads are very honest and they keep going for it. We've lost to a good side but it's a disappointing day for me.

"Anything can happen in the Cup and we're a Championship side, not non-League.

"We gave them a real game and at the end of the day we can feel a bit hard done by. But now we can concentrate on the league.

"Our season has levelled out a bit. But we're in decent form, we're just not scoring many. We're a good side with good players and we want them to have a go now."

Interview: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

Interview: Luton manager Mike Newell


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