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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 May 2006, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Benitez grateful to win thriller
Rafael Benitez celebrates winning the FA Cup
Benitez was relieved to have won a thrilling FA Cup final
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said the FA Cup final was a match no team deserved to lose after his side beat West Ham in a penalty shoot-out.

Steven Gerrard scored a 90th-minute equaliser to tie the scores at 3-3 and Benitez said: "It was difficult to say we deserved to win or the other team.

"It was a magnificent final. We knew that they could score goals but that we could also.

"We needed to keep going but after 63 games it was really difficult."

West Ham led 2-0 after 27 minutes before goals from Djibril Cisse and Gerrard pulled Liverpool level.

Our players have been magnificent
West Ham boss Alan Pardew

A strike from Paul Konchesky seemed to be taking the Hammers to victory before Gerrard, suffering from cramp, smashed a spectacular last-minute equaliser.

The match went to penalties and goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who was at fault for at least one West Ham goal, made three penalty saves.

Reds skipper Steven Gerrard said: "West Ham were brilliant, they gave us a really good game but we had a never-say-die attitude and we stuck in there," said Gerrard.

"Our best chance was on penalties as we did not have any energy left.

"We feel as though we have the better goalkeeper on penalties. He has a great record and made a fantastic save at the end of extra time."

They kept hitting us on the break and it was very difficult but thankfully fortune went with us this time
Jamie Carragher

Goalkeeper Jose Reina said: "It was a crazy game but the most important thing is that the trophy goes to Liverpool.

"It was a bad performance by me at the start but goalkeepers live in a small land between mistakes and saves.

"I needed to keep going and I was lucky because penalties are a lottery."

West Ham had taken the lead through an own goal by Jamie Carragher.

"It was a tough game to play in," said Carragher. "I thought West Ham were brilliant, they started the game very well.

"We were then chasing the game and toward the end half our team seemed to have cramp.

"They kept hitting us on the break and it was very difficult but thankfully fortune went with us this time."

Liverpool 3-3 West Ham (aet)
13 May 06 |  FA Cup
Alan Hansen's Cup final verdict
13 May 06 |  FA Cup
Final recalls Cup's magic days
13 May 06 |  FA Cup
FA Cup final photos
13 May 06 |  Photo Galleries
Cup loss hard to take for Pardew
13 May 06 |  West Ham Utd


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