Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was clearly angry with the
referee at the end of the Champions League final, with the German official
making a strange decision not to play until the end of the stoppage time he'd
said would be played. By the time Sky interviewed Rafa he was more
philosophical about it. It was annoying, but that wasn't why the Reds lost:
"It's not a reason, we lost against a good team with top-class players. The
first half we played really well but conceded a goal, a deflection, through bad
luck." At that stage Rafa wouldn't have seen the fact it was a hand that
deflected it in – but even if he had, he probably wouldn't have blamed it for
For the second half Liverpool tried and tried to create
chances, but the more you try the more you leave an opening for your opponent:
"We were pushing and pushing and you leave a space and they have quality and it
was the difference. We were trying to keep the ball and press high but you need
to take your chances."
Captain Steven Gerrard was devastated, a feeling quite
unlike those he felt in Istanbul two years ago: "It's the complete opposite.
It's difficult to take but that's football. You've got to take it on the chin,
move on and try to pick yourself up but at the moment it's heartbreaking."
The midfielder was pushed forward for tonight's match, a
system that was working until the deflected goal just before half time: "I
thought we started well," said Gerrard. "We were in control just how we like to
be but when you do that you've got to score. They got the first goal, with a
bit of luck, but it was a big lift for them. We gave everything but it wasn't
to be tonight."
Striker Dirk Kuyt felt luck was against the Reds: "We were
in control. We had a few little chances and you have be lucky to score a goal.
They were really lucky one minute before half-time, one of their players
touched the ball in the area. We tried it for 90 minutes but unfortunately it
The trio were speaking to Sky Sports.