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Rafa: Massive win for Reds
07 Feb 2010 - 10:34:50
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez was proud of his side after they secured a 1-0 Anfield victory over Everton in a tempestuous Merseyside derby.
A Dirk Kuyt header proved decisive in a game which saw both sides finish with ten men following the dismissals of Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Steven Pienaar.
Afterwards, Benitez told the club's official website: "It's massive for us. To win in a derby is always important and to win with ten players at Anfield makes it even more important.
"The people are really, really pleased and I'm pleased for the players and the fans, because everyone was working so hard. We deserved to win.
"From the beginning we did well in terms of work-rate and after the sending-off it was amazing to see all the players working so hard defending and also trying to go forward and score goals."
Meanwhile, Benitez tried to avoid criticising referee Martin Atkinson, who struggled to maintain order during a feisty encounter.
He added: "I think there were too many tackles which you can analyse, so I prefer not to speak about the referee.
"You can talk about 20 different tackles and you will have different opinions, so I prefer not to say anything.
"We were trying to win, they were trying to win - it is always the same in the derby.
"We knew it could be tough, but we tried to do our best. We tried to control things and play with our heads not just with our hearts, but sometimes it is difficult."