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Benitez: Torres and Gerrard injuries hampered Liverpool's title chase

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez believes the Reds would already have won this season's Premier League were it not for the injuries of star duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. "You cannot imagine if Gerrard and Torres had been fit all season where we would be now so it has been a good season but you know it could be better," the Liverpool boss told the club's official website.

But Benitez has praised his players, who have at times been criticised for a perceived over-emphasis upon defending.

"I don't think people realise how important it is to keep the balance," he added.

"Because we are organised some people say we are not an attacking team. It's so clear we are an attacking team and a very good attacking team.

"I think it's always important to score goals, but to score 119 last year and now more than 100, I think it's very good. It's not just the strikers as we have a lot of players who have scored for us.

"That is very good and it means the team has a very good offensive mentality and we still keep the balance and defend well. That is important for winning."

Benitez also confesses that he finds it unusual that United remain ahead of his side, despite Liverpool having scored more goals, lost fewer games and completed the league double over their North West rivals.

"It's strange but it also means United are a strong team and have a good team," said the Spaniard.

"They have a good squad which is important because when you are talking about the league you are talking about nine months."

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