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Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
Thursday, 31 August 2006

Peter Crouch
Make no bones about it, this is a big game to win

Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch says Liverpool will enter the new season with a "psychological edge" over Chelsea after their 2-1 win in the Community Shield in Cardiff.

The England international scored the winner 10 minutes from time to hand the Reds the honours in the curtain-raiser.

And he told BBC Five Live: "There is a bit of rivalry between the sides and it is great to get an early one over them.

"Make no bones about it, this is a big game to win and it certainly could give us a psychological edge this season."

The 25-year-old also paid tribute to Craig Bellamy, who arrived at Anfield in the summer from Blackburn, after he provided the perfect cross for him to head the winner.

"I have to pay tribute to Craig because he put a great ball in. I was just thankful to get on the end of it."

Reds manager Rafael Benitez agreed that the victory would provide a timely boost to his squad ahead of next Saturday's Premiership opener against Sheffield United.

"This will give us a lot of confidence I am sure," said the Spaniard.

We might yet improve our squad because we are always looking but I was delighted with every player's input

Rafael Benitez

"To play one of the best sides in the world and to beat them, this should give us more confidence going into what will be an interesting season."

And Benitez defended his team selection, leaving the likes of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Bellamy on the bench.

"It was my idea to start with the players that had the most fitness and have played the most minutes.

"Then I wanted to bring the other players on towards the end. It worked and it showed that we have a great squad - better than last season.

"We might yet improve our squad because we are always looking but I was delighted with every player's input."

Meanwhile, skipper Jamie Carragher played down suggestions that Liverpool's Champions League game against Maccabi Haifa on 9 August had ensured they were fitter than Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium.

"There was a lot said before the game about how we were supposedly further down the road in our preparations than them, but I don't buy into that," the defender told BBC Five Live Sport.

"We just played the better football and got our rewards."

Liverpool set for more signings
13 Aug 06 |  Liverpool
Gerrard dubs Ronaldo a 'disgrace'
12 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Liverpool 2-1 Maccabi Haifa
09 Aug 06 |  Europe


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