Benitez hoping the return of Gerrard can help to rescue European dream

22 November 2009 12:36
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is hoping the return of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to his line-up will produce a Champions League miracle this week after seeing his captain complete his first 90 minutes in two months.

Gerrard helped Liverpool secure a point against rivals Manchester City and managed to last the entire game despite not having trained fully over the last eight weeks owing to his groin injury.

It was the England midfielder's well-taken free-kick after 48 minutes that enabled Martin Skrtel to open the scoring, before goals from Emmanuel Abebayor and Stephen Ireland threatened yet another damaging defeat for Liverpool.

Welcome return: Steven Gerrard in action against Manchester City

But Yossi Benayoun equalised in the 77th minute to earn a draw for Benitez's team, who have just one win in 10 matches.

Under pressure: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez

Liverpool now go to Debrecen in Hungary on Tuesday needing Lyon, who have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, to win or at least draw away to Fiorentina to keep alive their slim hopes of progressing through to the last 16 of the tournament.

Despite losing Daniel Agger and Ryan Babel to injury against City, Benitez is hopeful that Glen Johnson, who failed a fitness test, Torres and Gerrard will be fit.

Benitez said: 'It was a choice whether to take Yossi or Steven off, as both have missed a lot of training. But Yossi was more tired and Steven always gives us something from free kicks and he scores.

'We are getting players back from injuries now so we are hopeful for midweek. The squad is getting stronger.

'It would be good for us if Lyon want to prove to everyone in the world that they are good professionals and that they want to win.

 Liverpool 2 Manchester City 2: All the action as it happenedLiverpool 2 Man City 2: Benayoun grabs late leveller at AnfieldLIVERPOOL FC

Source: Daily_Mail

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