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Careful Benítez calls for caution

Despite scoring two late goals at Anfield, Liverpool FC manager Rafael Benítez is taking nothing for granted ahead of the return leg with FC Internazionale Milano.

Inter coach Roberto Mancini (right) and Liverpool's Benítez
Inter coach Roberto Mancini (right) and Liverpool's Benítez ©Getty Images

Despite goals from Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard in the final five minutes of a pulsating UEFA Champions League first knockout round first leg at Anfield, Liverpool FC manager Rafael Benítez is taking nothing for granted ahead of the second match with FC Internazionale Milano in Italy on 11 March. His Inter counterpart Roberto Mancini, meanwhile, was left bemoaning the 30th-minute dismissal of centre-back Marco Materazzi, but remains optimistic his side can recover at San Siro in three weeks' time.

Rafael Benítez, Liverpool manager
It's a very good win but Inter are a good side so we have to be careful [in the second leg]. I was very pleased with the attitude of the players and supporters tonight. The team played well. We were trying to score all night, and to score two goals in the last few minutes was fantastic. We played against a good team. They were well organised with ten men, difficult to break down and dangerous on the counterattack. Of course we needed to win if we wanted to progress in the competition. We did that tonight as a team. The last two games were similar. Against Barnsley we created enough chances to win. Today we probably had fewer chances and scored two goals. We knew how important it was not to concede if we wanted to progress. It'll be difficult for them but they are a good team so I repeat – we must be careful.

Roberto Mancini, Inter coach
Our biggest problem was playing with ten men. Playing with a numerical disadvantage against Liverpool made it very difficult. I wasn't at all surprised they gave a good performance as the Champions League is very important to them; it's all they have left to play for. Materazzi's sending off undoubtedly changed things. We continued to play well and hold out so it was real shame to concede twice late on. The second goal was disappointing but it is not necessarily the killer goal. Turning this tie around is not beyond our reach although I concede that few clubs have done it in the past. When I took off Julio Cruz, Liverpool seemed to get more space, but they didn't create many clear-cut chances. By the 85th minute I thought we could make it to end, but it's very difficult when you have only ten players on the pitch.