Rafa: Mistakes cost us the game

Liverpool’s defeat against Charlton was hard to accept for Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, but once again it came down to Liverpool dominating without putting away chances. Rafa said: “It was unbelievable we have lost that game. I can’t explain how you can control a game – for 40 minutes it was one-way – and still lose. We were always attacking, then what happened was just crazy. It’s clear to see it wasn’t a penalty but when you concede a goal you then can’t concede another.”

Liverpool may have been hard done to in seeing that penalty decision go against them, but they had chances before that, and have no excuses for the second goal: “We’ve got to learn from our mistakes and we’ve got to learn. If we want to win trophies we can’t concede a second goal straight after the first. We’ve been talking about mistakes after recent games and tonight we have made another two.”

It was Jerzy Dudek’s first start since Istanbul, but Rafa says the Pole
had very little to do: “It wasn’t as if Dudek was making saves all
night, we created chances and had lots of set-pieces but we needed to
score. I can’t criticise the players’ work-rate because we always
wanted to attack and try to win the game but again the problem was the
mistakes that we made.”

Charlton manager Alan Curbishley could see why Rafa was disappointed.
According to Curbishley Charlton were shown why Liverpool are the
current Champions of Europe: “Liverpool showed why they are the
champions in the first half. They were fantastic and they didn’t just
pass the ball well – when we won it back they forced us into errors,
yet we ended the half 2-0 up. That’s football sometimes. Tonight we
defended magnificently, fantastically. We might have been fortunate
with the penalty, but the Liverpool players were not complaining about
diving, just about the decision.” Liverpool saw enough diving in London
on Sunday without needing to see any more. There was no animosity after
the game between the two managers after this clash though, underlining
why Rafa paid so many compliments to his opposite number in advance of
the game.