Liverpool's Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun has jumped to the defence of Chelsea boss Avram Grant ahead of tonight's Champions League semifinal.

Benayoun, 27, said: "The facts are Chelsea are in the semi-finals and are still fighting for the title so I don't think anyone can say anything bad about him.

"Normally he is a happy man. I don't know what happened in that Press conference at Everton but I think a lot of the pressure he is under comes from the criticism he is receiving.

"I understood it at the start when Jose Mourinho left, but I think the fans need to give him time to prove himself and I wish him all the best.

"He was my boss for six years. I worked with him in the national team and I want him to succeed."