Benitez emerges from 3hr Liverpool meeting intact

The Guardian says Benitez was involved in the talks after the club's 1-0 defeat at home to Manchester United, with his recent public criticism of the transfer restrictions imposed on him and his future role in transfer negotiations among the main topics. Gillett and Hicks left the meeting at Anfield without comment but the club released a statement which attempted to draw a line under the row which had threatened Benitez's future at the club.

Gillett, in particular, was grim-faced as he left his seat after watching Liverpool lose to Carlos Tevez's 43rd-minute goal but Benitez, who received the voluble backing of the home crowd, shook his head defiantly when he was asked whether back-to-back defeats meant Liverpool were now out of the title race. "It's too soon," he said. "It's going to make it harder for us and we will need to keep winning games in a row."

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