Luisao not expecting Reds backlash

The Brazil international sparked the confrontation that led to Ryan
Babel being sent off in the first half of the first leg of
Liverpool’s Europa League quarter-final against the Portuguese
giants. Babel took exception to a crude foul by Luisao on Fernando
Torres and was dismissed for raising his hands towards his face in
the ensuing argument. Liverpool, who had been leading 1-0 at the
time, were left to play for an hour with 10 men and were ultimately
beaten 2-1 at the Estadio da Luz. Luisao does not believe he will
be marked out for any special treatment, from fans or players, as
the Reds look to overturn the deficit back on Merseyside. “That
belongs to the past,” said the 29-year-old. “What happens on the
pitch stays there, we are colleagues of the same profession. “We
know the culture of the English supporters and players is different
but there is nothing afterwards. “We are coming into this tie to
win. We are going to play with a lot of spirit and we will try to
do the same as we did last time.” Luisao was a member of the
Benfica side that won 2-0 at Anfield four years ago, a result that
ended Liverpool’s reign as European champions following their 2005
success. He added: “With the supporters behind them they grow even
stronger. “I have had that experience before but once we go out
onto the pitch we forget about what people are saying outside – we
concentrate. “We know the way they play, they are quick and we have
to be prepared.” Chief among Luisao’s tasks will be stopping
Liverpool’s star striker Torres, who is fit to play after a knee
scare. Luisao says he will give the Spain international the respect
he deserves. “He is a brilliant player but we have to be humble and
pay attention to what is going on around us,” he said. “There is no
secret. We just have to be humble and play at our best.” Reaching
the semi-finals would keep Benfica on course for double success.
The Lisbon side are six points clear at the top of the Portuguese
league after victory at Naval last weekend. When asked which
competition was his priority, Luisao said: “We would like to win
both if possible. “We have been playing with a lot of quality and
are working hard. “We have reached this position and we want to go
through. “We love the way things are going. We know it has been a
long season and some matches have been very stressful but we don’t
hide. We just take the things the way they come.” Benfica are
without strikers Javier Saviola and Weldon through injury while
defender Cesar Peixoto is also doubtful.