On a night when Robbie Keane scored his first Liverpool FC goal and Steven Gerrard his 100th for the club, manager Rafael Benítez had special praise for both following the 3-1 defeat of PSV Eindhoven.
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On a night when Robbie Keane scored his first Liverpool FC goal and Steven Gerrard his 100th for the club, manager Rafael Benítez had special praise for both following the 3-1 defeat of PSV Eindhoven. Liverpool are on maximum points in Group D but PSV are yet to get off the mark and coach Huub Stevens admitted they never recovered from falling behind to a Dirk Kuyt goal in the fourth minute.
Rafael Benítez, Liverpool manager
[Keane] was working so hard that he deserved to score, and that was really important for him. I always say the same about Gerrard; going forward he is one of the best midfielders in the world. He has scored 100 goals and is still young so he can maybe get 200. A clean sheet would have been great but to get three points was the most important thing. In the second half we knew that we just had to play on the counterattack and if we did we would score, and we did from a free-kick. They had a plan to defend and play on the counter but we scored the first goal. After that we thought they would maybe go higher but it was only 15 or 20 minutes into the second half that they pushed a player up and became more offensive, which gave us space.
Huub Stevens, PSV coach
This is the reality of football. When you go behind so soon you can only chase the game. That is what happened to us, and we have to be realistic and say against a good side anyone can lose, and that is what we did. We wanted to survive the initial onslaught but they scored with the first corner, when duties that were agreed upon were not carried out – that is not acceptable at this level. After that we were pretty well organised, but we knew it would get tough against opponents who can play direct passes very well. After the first goal we couldn't immediately switch our entire tactical plan and then we also had to substitute some guys because of injury.