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Last Updated: Friday, 17 December, 2004, 11:42 GMT
Benitez relieved with Bayer draw
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez admitted he was relieved to have avoided Italian giants Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan in the Champions League draw.

Liverpool instead face Bayer Leverkusen and Benitez said: "They're a good team but it's not the worst draw.

"Playing against one of the Italian teams would have been more difficult.

"The only thing is the first leg is at home, but I definitely think playing a German team is better than playing a team from Italy."

Liverpoool chief executive Rick Parry said the club would hope to gain revenge for their defeat to Bayer in the 2002 Champions League.

"We just hope to do better than last time," he said.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Klaus Augenthaler said his team were also delighted with the draw.

"That's a beautiful tie," he said. "I'm very pleased with that.

"When you take four points off both Real Madrid and Roma (in the group stage) you might have a good chance against the English."

Interview: Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry

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