Benitez won't back down

Reds boss stands by Drogba comments

Rafael Benitez has refused to back down over his assessment of Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.

The Liverpool manager's claim that the Ivory Coast international 'falls down too easily' met with an angry response from Stamford Bridge boss Avram Grant.

But the Spaniard was sticking firmly to his guns ahead of the highly-charged UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg meeting between the two teams, live on Sky Sports 2.


Benitez said: "I was clear, after watching a lot of games I believe everyone would have the same idea. Everybody can see it in the games.

"Drogba is a fantastic player, that is clear, but he falls down too easily."

The verbal volleys between the two camps are only serving to crank up the pressure between the two teams, with the score locked at 1-1 following the first leg at Anfield.

It is the third Champions League semi-final meeting between the duo in four years, with Liverpool triumphing on both the previous occasions.

But the Blues have the edge after John Arne Riise's late own goal on Merseyside, and Benitez is hoping for an open game with his side needing to find the net to have any chance of progressing.

He said: "We need to score one goal, and maybe that will be enough.

"Chelsea will be under pressure. Their supporters will be expecting something special and you cannot defend at home and lose 1-0.

"Their supporters will not be happy with that. So Chelsea need to attack and we need to attack, so it will be a very open game."


And Benitez is backing star striker Fernando Torres to fire his side to the final after a superb first season in England following his move from Atletico Madrid.

He said: "Torres has the mentality to reach the final, he wants to play and he is very focused and can concentrate. For him to be in a European Cup final in his first season at Liverpool is a dream he wants to experience.

"We have enough confidence to win this, we have been here before at this stage and done exactly that.

"As for our chances, we have players like Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Peter Crouch who can all change a game.

"The difference comes when you have top-class players face to face, and I know we can score and play well."