Rafa positive on top-four hopes

Rafa Benitez claims Liverpool now have a great chance of finishing in the top four after they gained a vital 1-0 victory at Aston Villa on Tuesday.

Fernando Torres grabbed a stoppage-time winner for the Reds as they moved to within four points of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who they play at Anfield next month.

Benitez said:"We knew we had to win to reduce the gap. The team was working hard and you could see how everyone was together.

"I'm really pleased for Fernando, for the team and for the club. After this game it's easier because everyone's happier.

"We've talked about the squad. Players like Gerrard, Torres, Carragher, Mascherano – they all played so well last year and if they do the same we can do well.

"We were playing a team with a lot of confidence. We had to work hard and play well. The conditions were really bad but little by little we controlled possession. We made some mistakes but tried to win the game from beginning to end.

"I am a manager, I have to believe and I believe 100 per cent we'll be in the top four.

"Torres had some problems with his ankle more than his groin. He's working hard with the physios and fitness coach. It depends on how he feels but he was okay for this game.

"We signed a very good player, a player with a good mentality and quality. You saw here that he has one chance and he scores.

"He is one of the best strikers in the world. For me, you can never, ever say someone is the best because there are other good strikers in other countries.

"I was surprised the other day with an expert talking about how Gerrard scores goals and always saves Liverpool. But he is Steven Gerrard. And Fernando Torres is the same.

"If these players are fit and playing well then we know we're a very good team. Hopefully Fernando will be fit until the end of the season."

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