Rafael Benitez: we need miracle to qualify for Champions League knockout stages

04 November 2009 11:18
Liverpool will be eliminated, regardless of their own results, should Fiorentina beat Lyon in Italy in 19 days' time, while if the two sides draw, Liverpool will still need to beat the Italian side by three clear goals at Anfield in the final round of fixtures.

So remote are their chances of escaping that one bookmakers has lengthened their odds of winning the competition from 20/1 to 50/1.

 Related ArticlesLyon 1 Liverpool 1Champions League actionChampions League tablesChampions League fixturesSport on television'It is difficult, but not impossible,' said the Liverpool manager. 'We have to win our next game [against Debrecen] and then see what happens in the last game, depending on the result between Lyon and Fiorentina. We cannot talk about them, though, if we do not do our job.

'We have to keep going. I don't think my job is on the line, all I think about is the next game. We have produced miracles before, and maybe we can do it again. At the moment, we are really disappointed, because this was a great opportunity and we were almost there and then we concede another late goal against Lyon. It makes a massive difference.'

That the goal to cancel out Ryan Babel's stunning opener was assisted by Michel Bastos, the Brazilian winger, as he returned from an offside position did not irk the Liverpool manager as much as his side's failure to close a second Champions League game out from a winning position.

Lopez evaded challenges from both Daniel Agger, himself a doubt before the tie, and Sotiris Kyrgiakos, the stand-in centre back, before slotting past Pepe Reina.

'This is part of the game, maybe,' he said, 'but we have to improve how we control games when we are winning. We have to keep the ball and maybe we have to be stronger in the challenge.'

There is solace for the Spaniard, though, not only in his team's performance and that of Fernando Torres 'he needed to stop and start because of the pain, but he has time now and maybe he will be better' but also in the fact that Claude Puel, the Lyon manager, is adamant his side will not roll over in Florence now that their own qualification is assured.

'We will play fair and try to get some points so we get first place in the group, because we do not want a repeat of last year,' he said, referring to Lyon's second place finish to Bayern Munich in the group stage and last 16 humiliation against Barcelona. 'You do not have to worry, we will do what we can so that Liverpool can have their fate in their own hands.'

''I don't think my job is on the line, all I think about is the next game.''

Source: Telegraph

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