Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez still believes his side will be in the top four of the Premier League at the end of the season.

The Reds played out a dour 0-0 draw against fellow UEFA Champions League hopefuls Manchester City at Eastlands and they remain one point behind the Blues.

Neither side deserved to win the game but Benitez, who promised to lead the club to fourth spot earlier in the campaign, insists his side will kick on and secure the much-coveted position in the table.

He told Sky Sports: „I have to believe. If the manager doesn’t have confidence it is difficult for the players.

„I think we have enough quality, Yossi (Benayoun) is coming back, (Fernando) Torres is coming back, hopefully (Glen) Johnson will come back in the next week.

The match at the City of Manchester Stadium was not one for the purists. Both teams defended stoutly but were unable to create many scoring opportunities, although Benitez claimed his side could have had a penalty late on were it not for Yossi Benayoun staying on his feet in the box.

„I think that both teams were working hard in defence, trying to beat the other in attack and we couldn’t,” he added.

„I think they are a good team, they had good players before, they have good players now, I think we knew it would be difficult and we know that it will be a long race so we have to keep going.

„I think at the end we were more in control, passing the ball with (Alberto) Aquilani, I think we had plenty of possession.

„They could be a threat on the counter-attack but we had more control and also the situation with Yossi maybe with the penalty, so I think we were close at the end to winning the game.

„He told me that he thought it was a penalty. In the end it is good to see a player trying to not take advantage of this but today it was bad! You have to understand his decision.”

Fernando Torres came off the bench to mark his return from injury in the second-half but he may not be fit enough to start against Unirea Urziceni on Thursday night.

Benitez added: „We will see how he trains during the week. We have a game in the Europa League on Thursday so we have to decide but I think he still needs to keep working with the fitness coach.”

Regarding opposite number Roberto Mancini’s progress since taking the reins at City, Benitez remarked: „I think that they had a good team before and they have a good team now.

Pictures from Sunday’s Premier League action where Aston Villa knock five past Burnley at Villa Park.

All the best pictures from Liverpool and Fulham’s Europa League games on Thursday night.

Liverpool and Everton are both improving and Paul Merson can’t separate them on derby day.

Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Wolves in 2004. Can you name the mystery starting XI?

Manchester City and Liverpool cancelled each other out as Tottenham cruised into fourth spot with a 3-0 win at Wigan.

Neither Manchester City nor Liverpool could break the deadlock in a dire 0-0 draw at Easlands.

Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt has aimed a swipe at Man City, claiming the big-spending Eastlands outfit cannot buy history.

Jamie Carragher has admitted he is considering what the future holds when the time comes to leave Liverpool.

Champions League credentials come under the spotlight when Man City and Liverpool meet at Eastlands.

Read the article on Sky Sports

Benitez keeps believing

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez still believes his side will be in the top four of the Premier League at the end of the season.

The Reds played out a dour 0-0 draw against fellow UEFA Champions League hopefuls Manchester City at Eastlands and they remain one point behind the Blues.

Neither side deserved to win the game but Benitez, who promised to lead the club to fourth spot earlier in the campaign, insists his side will kick on and secure the much-coveted position in the table.

He told Sky Sports: „I have to believe. If the manager doesn’t have confidence it is difficult for the players.

„I think we have enough quality, Yossi (Benayoun) is coming back, (Fernando) Torres is coming back, hopefully (Glen) Johnson will come back in the next week.

The match at the City of Manchester Stadium was not one for the purists. Both teams defended stoutly but were unable to create many scoring opportunities, although Benitez claimed his side could have had a penalty late on were it not for Yossi Benayoun staying on his feet in the box.

„I think that both teams were working hard in defence, trying to beat the other in attack and we couldn’t,” he added.

„I think they are a good team, they had good players before, they have good players now, I think we knew it would be difficult and we know that it will be a long race so we have to keep going.

„I think at the end we were more in control, passing the ball with (Alberto) Aquilani, I think we had plenty of possession.

„They could be a threat on the counter-attack but we had more control and also the situation with Yossi maybe with the penalty, so I think we were close at the end to winning the game.

„He told me that he thought it was a penalty. In the end it is good to see a player trying to not take advantage of this but today it was bad! You have to understand his decision.”

Fernando Torres came off the bench to mark his return from injury in the second-half but he may not be fit enough to start against Unirea Urziceni on Thursday night.

Benitez added: „We will see how he trains during the week. We have a game in the Europa League on Thursday so we have to decide but I think he still needs to keep working with the fitness coach.”

Regarding opposite number Roberto Mancini’s progress since taking the reins at City, Benitez remarked: „I think that they had a good team before and they have a good team now.

Pictures from Sunday’s Premier League action where Aston Villa knock five past Burnley at Villa Park.

All the best pictures from Liverpool and Fulham’s Europa League games on Thursday night.

Liverpool and Everton are both improving and Paul Merson can’t separate them on derby day.

Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Wolves in 2004. Can you name the mystery starting XI?

Manchester City and Liverpool cancelled each other out as Tottenham cruised into fourth spot with a 3-0 win at Wigan.

Neither Manchester City nor Liverpool could break the deadlock in a dire 0-0 draw at Easlands.

Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt has aimed a swipe at Man City, claiming the big-spending Eastlands outfit cannot buy history.

Jamie Carragher has admitted he is considering what the future holds when the time comes to leave Liverpool.

Champions League credentials come under the spotlight when Man City and Liverpool meet at Eastlands.

Read the article on Sky Sports

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