However, he was disappointing in his output and many fans felt that Yoshinori Muto should have come on instead. But Benitez defended Kenedy's quality and performances.
Benitez said of the Brazilian to reporters: "I think he was trying, but if you analyse the second half, it was not just him. A lot of players didn't have the same confidence and control as they had before then.
"You have to give credit to the other team sometimes. It was massive game for them and for us, but last year when we were safe we lost four games in a row - not because we didn't have the intensity, but it's not always the same when you have to do it, and need to do it.
"In this case, for us, the reaction with which we approached the game was positive but it's difficult to play for the whole 90 minutes with the same approach, and be pushing and pushing the whole time."