Lucas looks for Reds momentum

Lucas Leiva is hoping Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Wolves will

provide the Reds with the springboard to mount their bid for a

top-four finish.

Rafael Benitez’s side moved up to seventh in the Premier

League table on Boxing Day courtesy of their hard-fought home

triumph over Mick McCarthy’s 10 men, and visit fourth-placed Aston

Villa on Tuesday night looking to finish 2009 on a high.

“We are happy because we really needed the three points,”

Lucas told the club’s official website. “I think we played well and

deserved to win. Now we have to build some momentum.

“We have an important game with Villa and we know that if we

beat them we will be closer.

“Like I have said before, every game is like a cup final for

us and we must keep working hard to try and win some matches in a

row.

“Villa will be a really difficult game and we don’t have too

much time to recover, but we will make sure we are ready and try to

get the three points.”

Martin O’Neill’s side played on Sunday, going down 3-0 at

Arsenal, and therefore have even less time to rest. Cesc Fabregas

came off the bench to inspire the Gunners to victory at the

Emirates Stadium. Villa – who have beaten Chelsea, Manchester

United and Liverpool this season – looked dangerous on the break

but could not make the most of their pressure midway through the

second period.

Liverpool, meanwhile, required second-half goals from Steven

Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun to defeat Wolves, and they only came

once the visitors had been reduced to 10 men.

Stephen Ward was eventually penalised for a second bookable

offence, referee Andre Marriner at first getting the wrong man and

cautioning Christophe Berra. Liverpool players persuaded the

official to check with a linesman, the error was corrected and the

hosts were able to take full advantage of the situation.

Lucas admitted the red card was the turning point. “When you

have one player more, it is easier,” said the Brazilian. “They were

then forced to play with one striker. That worked in our favour and

I think it was the right decision.

“After that we kept the ball better, created more chances and

scored the two goals.” He added: “When you aren’t winning or

playing as well as you can then you are going to get criticism,

that’s normal.

“We know we have a good squad and a good team. The key is to

get our confidence back for the rest of the season.”