Hiddink still wary of Reds

08 April 2009 10:57
Boss Guus Hiddink has warned his Chelsea team that Liverpool are still capable of 'unthinkable things' after the Blues' shock first-leg victory against Rafael Benitez' Reds.

Wednesday's UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash saw two of England's super-powers lock horns in what now been regarded as their annual European double-headers.

History tells us that the team who has home advantage first, ends up the loser and it looks like history is going to repeat itself as Chelsea came away from Anfield the 3-1 victors thanks to a Branislav Ivanovic brace and Didier Drogba's finish to cancel out Fernando Torres' opener.

The result leaves the Blues firmly in the driving seat going into next Tuesday's return leg at Stamford Bridge and Hiddink admitted it was the perfect result in his first game against Liverpool.

Perfect scenarioWhen asked if the game could not have gone better, the Chelsea man told Sky Sports: "No, especially here at Anfield.

"It's very difficult always to play, so the scenario was perfect, although when we got 1-0 down, but I must give the compliments to the team because they react, they always react now, that's good to see."

Wednesday's fixture saw Hiddink and Benitez pit wits against each other for only the second-time in their careers - the last coming when Hiddink's mighty Real Madrid battered Benitez' lowly Extremadura 5-1 back in 1998 in the Spanish League.

And it was the Dutchman who took the edge in the tactical battle this time round after nullifying the threat of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard with Michael Essien man-marking the Reds talisman.

But Hiddink stayed true to his claim before the match that he would attack the Merseysiders and the Blues boss added: "[Chelsea's plan was] not just leaning on defence to neutralise Torres and Steve Gerrard, but to get them sweating in their defence.

"We aimed to score and when you score three that's a luxury."

Attention now turns to Premier League action against Bolton before Tuesday's second-leg and Hiddink believes the full-squad of players are going to be crucial towards their tilt for domestic and European glory.

Terry suspensionOne player who is certainly out of the return leg is John Terry, whose booking sees him suspended for the Reds' visit to London next week, but the Chelsea boss believes his team will cope without their skipper.

"The schedule is tying up - every three or four days a game, so John is not available and we have some good replacements.

But Hiddink warned his players to expect the unexpected when Liverpool come to the capital.

He added. "We have to be very concentrated of course - it's half-time.

"If we think we can play a relaxed game, that's not what might happen because Liverpool have shown in the past that they can do unthinkable things, we have to avoid that.

Source: SKY_Sports