Oscar Cardozo scored two penalties as Liverpool went down 2-1 to Benfica at the Stadium of Light in Portugal. A controversial sending off for Ryan Babel was the turning point in the match as the Reds got off to a fantastic start after a well worked free kick saw Steven Gerrard cut the ball back to Daniel Agger who cleverly finiahed with a back flick. Rafa Benitez is confident of victory at Anfield but he was disappointed with referee Jonas Eriksson’s performance during the match. Babel appeared to raise his hand to the mouth of Luisao but the sending off appeared very harsh, Benitez said after the match:
“To concede two goals to two penalties and have one goal disallowed is disappointing, but still it is a good result, I have confidence we can do well and it will be totally different at Anfield. With the fans behind us, we can score goals and progress. I was surprised because a foul from behind is more serious for me. It’s difficult to understand and impossible to change so we have to move forward and think about Anfield and our fans behind the team.”
Despite the defeat, I think there is still a good chance of Liverpool progressing. Even when down to ten men, Liverpool had a goal disallowed and an excellent chance for Torres in the second half. Certainly it is clear that this Benfica team can be got at, and the fact they had to rely on two penalties also demonstrates that they were wasteful in front of goal. I fully expect the Reds to progress to the semi-final. What do you think?