Benitez: Mascherano dismissal is what cost us
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez believes the first-half dismissal of
Javier Mascherano signalled the beginning of the end for his side
as they fell to a 2-0 loss at Portsmouth.
The Argentinian midfielder saw red shortly before the
interval after recklessly crashing into Tal Ben Haim, although his
feet did not leave the ground.
Liverpool were already trailing to a Nadir Belhadj goal when
they were reduced to 10 men and Frederic Piquionne added another
late on to complete the scoring.
Benitez said on Sky Sports: “If you analyse the first half we
were doing well, even with their goal but then came the Mascherano
“We were a good team in the first half and the sending off
“We had some chances, we should have scored, we were
controlling the game and everything changed with Mascherano.
“Now we have to hope we can win our next game.”
Pompey’s victory will ignite hope of survival in the Barclays
The result also means Avram Grant maintains his unbeaten
record against Benitez after posting two wins and two draws during
his time at Chelsea in the 2008 season.
Grant was thrilled to claim the scalp of Liverpool having
narrowly missed out to leaders Chelsea in midweek.
“Today we played like a team,” he said.
“From game to game we are playing better and today we
deserved the win.
“We played on Wednesday against a team in first place at
home, and we showed ourselves if we can do things well at the
bottom of the table we can still surprise the other team, and today
it went well.”
Pompey midfielder Michael Brown added: “We’ve been playing
well in general. It was a fantastic result for us.
“It’s a matter of getting some points and three points is
fantastic against a strong Liverpool team with a lot of talent.
It’s an enjoyable day for us.”