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Benitez delighted with all-round Liverpool performance

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was delighted with his team's all-round performance in yesterday's 2-1 victory over Manchester United.

After United went ahead through Carlos Tevez, Liverpool outshone the visitors and deservedly collected the three points thanks to a late goal from substitute Ryan Babel.

Said Benitez: "This was my first win against Manchester United in the league, and that was important for the team and for the fans in terms of belief and confidence for the future.

"And we also showed character after conceding an early goal. It was really important to score the goals we did, and to improve so much in the second half.

"I do not want to talk about just one player, the team was very good, lots of players working very hard. Especially Robbie Keane and Dirk Kuyt, the strikers, who put in amazing work rate and performances.

"We are in a good position in terms of confidence rather than results, because it is too early to start talking about titles.

"What we have done is put ourselves in a good position in terms of confidence and where we are in the table.

"But if we want to stay where we are, we must continue to improve. We needed to improve our form, we had been winning but not playing too well, so we needed to play better for the future."

He added: "We have also shown improvement against one of the top sides. That has been our problem against other teams in the top four.

"But we have beaten the champions of England, and Europe, and that has given us already improvement on last season.

"We were losing against a good team, but we showed character and there were lots of positives."

The win was achieved without Fernando Torres, and with Steven Gerrard only on as substitute for 22 minutes.

Benitez said: "We did not have key players, Gerrard for most of the game, and Torres. But we showed we had a good squad and players who could come in and show real quality.

"We will have to use all our players throughout this season, and we showed that there are people who can come in and produce performances like that.

"I was disappointed with the early goal we conceded, you do not want to give a team like United possession and control of the game.

"We had to change many things, but we were much better in the second half and we deserved to win. We were not more aggressive than them, but we played better in the second half."

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Tribal Football Staff

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