He said: "I've always had the confidence I will be the manager of Liverpool because you can see the players and fans are happy. That is the key for the future - to keep growing and improving.

"It was an almost perfect performance and really it could not get much better. The team was really good here and you cannot say anything about that."

Benitez now has two important meetings coming up - one with Manchester United on Sunday and another with Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

He said: "I'm not even thinking about the meeting with the owners as I must think about Manchester United. The game and the meeting are two different things."