Benitez desperately needed this great last 16, first-leg triumph at a heaving Anfield - especially after Saturday's FA Cup KO by Barnsley and with his job coming under increasing pressure.
He said: "Everyone knows how important the Champions League is, playing the top sides on nights like this.
"It was vital not to concede and scoring twice at the end made it perfect. It will be difficult for them now but we are still going to have to be careful.
"The attitude of the players was really good. They are playing for the club - and it is a fantastic club."