Rafael Benitez claims individual errors are to blame for Liverpool FC's results

23 November 2009 12:00
RAFA BENITEZ has launched a passionate defence of his preference for zonal marking and insisted individual errors are to blame for Liverpool's poor defensive record.

The Reds conceded two more sloppy goals as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime, the worst being Emmanuel Adebayor's unmarked header from Craig Bellamy's corner.

That was the eighth time since the opening day of the season Benitez has seen his back four breached at a set piece, a figure which accounts for 40 per cent of the 20 goals they have conceded so far.

It is proving hugely frustrating for Benitez, whse side have only won once in the Premier League since thrashing Hull City 6-1 on September 26, and explains the reason they find themselves in seventh place.

However, the manager is adamant the situation will turn around once injuries clear and he is able to play his preferred back four for a significant amount of time.

'When you're using a zonal marking system you have to attack the ball and if there's a player near you, you have to challenge,' he said.

'We watched some set pieces beforehand and Richard Dunne scored against them when they used man to man. In England 35 per cent of the goals come from set pieces.

'It is clear you have to attack the space or the player, it doesn't mean you stand like a post.

'The majority of players believe in it, maybe you can find one or two who don't.

'But we were one of the best - THE best - before. This year has been bad but it is still early in the season.

'We will see how things are at the end.'

Source: Liverpool_Echo