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Liverpool boss Benitez plays down brawl

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez attempted to play down the all-in stoush that erupted at the end of their 1-1 'friendly' draw with Feyenoord.

Benitez saw six of his players booked - there were nine cautions in all during the 1-1 draw - and skipper Steven Gerrard come close to being sent off for a shove in the face of Feyenoord's Theo Lucius as the game deteriorated into a melee involving most of the players on the pitch.

Gerrard had earlier grabbed Liverpool's equaliser but was furious with a late tackle from young winger Royston Drenthe, the hosts' first-half scorer.

Lucius had earlier twice pushed Daniel Agger as tempers flared.

Benitez said: "I do not think Steven will be in trouble, there was a lot going on out on the pitch.

"It was hard to see what was going on and I would want to review the match before commenting.

"But I would need to see the replay to decide what happened, but maybe you should talk about everything with the referee.

"I felt the team played okay, we had some chances but could not score. In terms of football, we were all right. As for the tournament, this was a very strange one."

Benitez was clearly not impressed by the standard of the event that included a very poor Shanghai side and a competitive but defensive host club.

He added: "Maybe these kind of games are more difficult with a local referee in charge. They become even more difficult.

"I am not bothered really about what went on and how the lads were treated, it is not the end of the world."

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Tribal Football Staff

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