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Liverpool boss Benitez: Gerrard too hard on himself

The stunning quarter-final second leg victory over Arsenal, for a 5-3 aggregate win, meant Benitez had emerged triumphant and unbeaten from three clashes with the north Londoners in a week.

Liverpool broke the hearts of Arsene Wenger's side, who led early on through Abou Diaby before Sami Hyypia's equaliser, while Emmanuel Adebayor's goal with seven minutes left would have put Arsenal into the last four on away goals when he made it 2-2 after Fernando Torres' strike.

But Steven Gerrard's penalty, won by substitute Ryan Babel, and then a breakaway fourth from the flying Dutchman set the seal on the victory, which many old time Liverpool fans will see as revenge for Arsenal's 1989 injury-time title triumph on this same ground.

Benitez said: "I was delighted with the belief of my players, particularly in the second half. We had been so poor before the break, but so much better in the second period.

"It was a tremendous game for our fans, there were six goals and we played so well.

"I hear Steven Gerrard has said it was a poor game by him, but I was satisfied. He scored a crucially important penalty for us when it really mattered, that was positive from him to take it so well.

"Now we have Chelsea again in the semi-final. Again it will be a very, very tough game against an excellent side. But like tonight, we have enough experience of such matches and clearly the belief to succeed again.

"And when we went to 2-2 so near the end, my players showed tremendous character and desire to get up off the ground to win the tie."

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Tribal Football Staff

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