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Rafa rues missed chances

01 May 2008 - 07:32:53

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez blamed a failure to take extra-time chances for their Champions League exit at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Reds fought back from a goal down on the night to level the semi-final second leg at 1-1 and 2-2 on aggregate through Fernando Torres' 64th minute strike.

But Frank Lampard's penalty and a third from Didier Drogba in extra-time denied the Reds a third straight semi-final success over Chelsea despite Ryan Babel's late consolation strike in a 3-2 defeat on the night.

"I think that we were very close," claimed Benitez. "They were playing well and we were playing well, especially in the second half.

"In extra-time we were much better, but we then conceded a second goal and the third goal finished the game.

"When we scored I felt we had control of the game and we had two chances at the start of extra-time.

"We were in control of the game and creating chances. In these games always the small details make a difference."

Meanwhile, Benitez revealed that leading marksman Torres was substituted in extra-time and with his side needing to score due to a hamstring injury.

But he denied claims that his pre-match comments suggesting Drogba was a diver gave the Chelsea striker an extra incentive to put his side to the sword.

"I don't think so," he replied. "When you are playing in the semi-final of the Champions League you are not thinking about any other thing as it's just to play as well as you can."

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