Booed Rafa Benitez blames injury problems for Lyon defeat
Published 23:38 20/10/09 By By David Anderson
Rafa Benitez was jeered last night after Liverpool were rocked by a fourth straight defeat.
The Anfield boss was booed for the first time as his side were sunk by Cesar Delgado's stoppage-time winner for Lyon.
To add to his woes, Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson joined Fernando Torres on the crock list.
Gerrard lasted just 25 minutes before suffering a recurrence of his groin problem and the Reds skipper is doubtful for Sunday's showdown with Manchester United.
"We have too many problems with different players," said a beleaguered Benitez. "We have too many problems with Glen Johnson breaking down before the game, then Steven Gerrard and Martin Kelly.
"With Gerrard it is the same groin problem as before. He felt something so we had to change him. It was not a risk because he wanted to play and the doctor said he was OK.
"He trained the last two days so he was OK. We will have to check on all the players in the morning and it is too soon to say who will play on Sunday against Manchester United."
Benitez tried down to play down being booed by the Kop, who were angry with his decision to substitute goalscorer Yossi Benayoun, as he tries to halt Liverpool's worst slump since 1987.
"The fans know that Yossi is a good player, but I felt that he was a little bit tired and I wanted to use fresh legs," he said.
"I understand Yossi is a good player and the fans are happy to see him on the pitch.
Liverpool led through Benayoun's fourth strike of the season before losing to two goals in the last 18 minutes to deal yet another blow to their disintegrating season.
The Reds are third in Group E - six points behind leaders Lyon - and Benitez admits they must win their last three games to reach the last 16.
"We've done it before and we have to do it again," he said. "We have to be ready for the next game, win it and after that do the same for the next two.
"We've done it before and we have to have the confidence that we can do it again.
"It was a difficult game for us, but we were winning one nothing. We had two or three chances to change everything and we conceded and then again in the last minute.
"I'm really disappointed because we should have won."
Benitez must somehow raise his injury-ravaged side for Sunday's clash with United at Anfield.
"It is something we have to do," he said. "We have to prepare for the game, push the players and keep going. We have to have the confidence that we can do it."