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Avram Grant was delighted to make history for Chelsea FC while his opposite number on the Liverpool FC bench, Rafael Benítez, spoke of his pride in his players. If the Spaniard had been filled with optimism by Fernando Torres's second-half goal, that positive vibe disappeared with the extra-time strikes from Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba which secured Chelsea's 3-2 victory. uefa.com has all the reacton.
Avram Grant, Chelsea manager
To create history in this club in my first year as manager with all the difficulties we have had ... we have stayed together and we did everything as I like to do, in a positive way. It means a lot to me, not just that we have got to the final but the way we did it. This is time to say a good word to everyone at the club, all my staff did a very good job and I am proud of them.
Liverpool are a very good team. I understand now why we lost three times in the semi-finals and this year they are better because, with Babel, Torres and Benayoun, they have very good players. Rafa is a great manager – he knows about the tactical side and it was very difficult to play against him tactically. We had to think all the time because they were very organised and very clever. It was very difficult to play against Liverpool, but when we win against them it makes me very proud. We have created history, it is very important to this club and we are still fighting to be champions.
It's strange two English teams in Moscow, so it should be a great final. We have played so many games but the more important games, the better. I respect the past but I work for the future and for the present. We are playing good football at the right time, on the mental side and on the physical side – it is not easy to play three games in eight days plus extra time, because a lot of Liverpool's players were rested on Saturday, but again this is a time to say another good word about the staff.
Rafael Benítez, Liverpool manager
In extra time we saw that we were strong enough physically and mentally and had big chances. But the second goal was really difficult and the third goal killed the game. I think that when we scored our first goal I was really pleased, really confident that we could progress, but now we have to think about the future as we cannot do anything else. I am really proud – we worked really hard until the end and when we scored the goal we were in the game.
Again we were thinking about the situation of going 0-0 or 1-1 so we needed to keep going and the team was doing this. I think it would have been a big difference to come here with a 1-0. They are a good team and in the first half they were really good and played with quality. At the end you cannot change the situation so there are two good teams in the final. We need to keep working and we have two more games which we must try to win and we will improve the squad and try to be closer next season.
Torres had a problem with his hamstring – I was talking with him and he told me that he was not 100 per cent so we needed to change it. I think it was also a problem losing Škrtel but Hyypiä was OK. We had one substitution and so in the second half or in extra time, if we needed another one, it was a small problem.
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