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Furious Benitez says 'worst first half performance' of his Liverpool tenure

Posted By: Staff

London, Sep 30 (ANI): Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has slammed his side for producing its worst first half performance of his Anfield tenure after slumping to a dismal Champions League defeat.

The five-time European champion had done the minimum in seeing off Hungary's Debrecen to open its group E campaign at Anfield, but the English Premiership giant was undone by two first-half goals from teen Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetic.

"Never have I seen us struggle so badly as in the first half - it was a poor performance. They were on top of us all the time and we didn't do things like we talked about before the start. We were very bad," The Sun quoted Benitez, as saying.

"Fiorentina did a very good job on us, they pressed us all around the pitch and they pressed us into making mistakes. If you make mistakes then you pay for them, which is exactly what we did. We had to change everything and the second half was much better - but it was too late by then," he added.

Jovetic made the most of some awful defending to throw Group E wide open.

He beat the offside trap to slot past Pepe Reina and then reacted quicker than Martin Skrtel to prod Juan Vargas' cross-shot home.

"We knew that Jovetic was a very good player and we expected him to be busy but we gave him too much of an opportunity," Benitez said.

Benitez called on his players to show their true colours in Sunday's trip to Stamford Bridge. (ANI)

Story first published: Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 15:07 [IST]
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