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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » 'Liverpool and Gerrard can play better'

'Liverpool and Gerrard can play better'

September 17, 2008 11:22 IST

Liverpool and Steven Gerrard can both improve, coach Rafael Benitez said after his captain scored twice to help his side to a 2-1 win at Olympique Marseille in the Champions League on Tuesday.

- Images from Tuesday's matches

Gerrard, who played 22 minutes on his return from a groin operation in a 2-1 Premier League win over Manchester United on Saturday, started the Group D game and turned out to be the match winner.

Liverpool trailed 1-0 when their inspirational midfielder put them level by firing into the top corner from the edge of the box on 26 minutes. He sealed the visitors' win from a penalty six minutes later.

"Gerrard scored a fantastic goal," Benitez told reporters. "The team played well and he played well but the team can play better and so can he. This is positive because there is room for improvement.

"We played good counter-attack, had quite a few clear chances and I'm satisfied with our defence as well.

"In a competition like this the first game is really important. That puts us in a good position but it was a tough match and both PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid (the other teams in the group) will suffer here."

Marseille coach Eric Gerets did not hide his frustration after his team, who were thrashed 4-0 by the same opponents in a group game here last year, put Liverpool under sustained pressure but failed to get any points out of the game.

"I'm very disappointed by the result and by the fact that we squandered many chances," said Belgian Gerets. "We showed we were not inferior to Liverpool but that was not enough to win and that's frustrating."

Like his Liverpool counterpart, Gerets paid tribute to Gerrard: "I don't know how many players in the world can score such a goal," he said. "It was a splendid goal. The guy's got class."

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