Reds couldn’t conjure chances – Rafa

The Premier League showdown between the two top-four rivals lacked

spark and invention but with so much at stake, perhaps it was no

surprise the sides cancelled each other out. Benitez was frustrated

that his Reds failed to find a way through City’s stubborn

rearguard. In stressing his point, he highlighted an incident late

in the game when substitute Yossi Benayoun was touched by defender

Victor Kompany inside the penalty area but continued his run and

did not go to ground. However, the Reds boss must have been one of

the few people in the ground who felt his side could have been

awarded a spot-kick for an innocuous challenge which went unnoticed

by the majority. “It was a difficult game. We didn’t have clear

chances, they didn’t have clear chances, but we had more possession

and but for the pass in the final third, it could have been

different,” said the Spaniard. “I felt today both teams were

defending well and were well organised but the incident with Yossi

could also have been different. “Yossi felt he could have had a

penalty. He was trying to continue, you cannot blame the player.

“He was trying to go forward, to score. But we can be talking this

for a while, you can say too much.” In truth, Liverpool did not

create a clear-cut chance to warrant a victory which would have

lifted them back up to fourth but at least it ensured they did not

lose further ground on one of their main rivals for Champions

League qualification. “I don’t think the result is good for anyone.

We both wanted to win and I have to think about the positives,”

said Benitez. “We were strong, we did well and we have two players

coming back – that is all you can say after the game.” Those two

players coming back were Benayoun and striker Fernando Torres, both

of whom have been out for five weeks, with rib and knee injuries

respectively. Neither really looked like changing the outcome of

the result but Benitez was pleased to have them back, especially

Torres whom he did not think would be in contention just over a

month since a knee operation. “He (Torres) trained on Friday and he

was really good. Early in the morning we thought ‘no chance’ but

watching him in the session he was trying and going to the floor so

we thought ‘okay, maybe he can’,” added the Liverpool manager. “But

we also had a problem as David Ngog (ankle) was injured and we

couldn’t play him so we had to bring Torres with us and because he

was so bright in training we thought maybe he was worth 15 to 20

minutes.”