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Benitez hails his united Liverpool

The Reds sealed a second-placed finish in Group A thanks to a stunning victory at the Stade Velodrome, courtesy of first-half goals by Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres and strikes after the break by Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel.

It was the first time Marseille have lost to an English team at home in Europe, and means the Merseysiders have now scored 16 goals in their last three Champions League games.

They will face one of the giants from Italy or Spain in the last 16, but Benitez reckons his men can cope with whoever they are put up against.

"It doesn't matter who we play now," said the Spaniard. "All of them are good sides but we are just enjoying ourselves.

"My team is growing and playing better every week. I am happy with the way we are attacking and defending.

"These are good times for us at the moment. We are playing well and with confidence - it's not a problem who we play against now."

Benitez admitted performances of this kind made him "proud" to be Liverpool's manager.

He added: "I was not thinking about the meeting. I must simply try to do my job.

"You could see the players, supporters, everyone were together. Everyone wants to win and we should talk about that, not the meeting.

"I am always confident - you can see that the players and supporters are happy, and this is good for the future of the club.

"I am not thinking about my situation every day, I am just thinking about my team and how they can improve."

When Torres scored a sumptuous second after 11 minutes, the contest was all but over.

Kuyt made it 3-0 with a powerful finish from 10 yards after yet more static defending by OM, and Babel added gloss with a breakaway fourth in injury time.

Benitez was delighted with the way his men played, even thought they could have scored more.

"The performance was really good. We played compact as a unit, played well in attack, had our chances and didn't concede.

"People will talk about the second goal of Torres, but the third goal and fourth were good and everything went well."

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Tribal Football Staff

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