Benitez blasts 'crazy' half
Reds boss concedes two points were dropped at the JJB
By Elliot Ball. Last Updated: 28/01/09 11:42pm
Benitez: Losing pace in title race
Rafael Benitez conceded Liverpool dropped two points in their title quest after drawing at Wigan on Wednesday.
The Reds dominated the opening period and were rewarded with a first-half lead, thanks to Yossi Benayoun's narrow finish on 41 minutes.
But Benitez's men failed to kill off their opposition as they allowed Wigan to equalise through debutant Mido's penalty on 83 minutes, after a rash tackle by Lucas Leiva on substitute Jason Koumas.
With it now seven draws out of 10 in the league, the result leaves the Merseysiders trailing Manchester United by two points having played a game more, while they slip to third following Chelsea's win over Middlesbrough.
"We have lost two points. We were much better in the first half. We had control of the game. We didn't kill the game," said Benitez, who brought both Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard off.
"The second half was a crazy game and when it is a crazy game you cannot control things."
Regarding replacing Torres and Gerrard, Benitez said: "I think he (Torres) was tired and (Gerrard) the same situation."
When he was pressed as to what was the crazy element of the second half, the
Spaniard refused to comment.
There was a suggestion Wigan midfielder Michael Brown's over-physical treatment of opposite number Gerrard had upset him but he refused to discuss the issue.
"No I am disappointed with a number of things but no, the Wigan approach I will not talk about them," he added.
"It has happened in the last three games. They have something in common I don't like. I know why but I cannot say anything.
"The players were okay. They were working very hard in the first half but the second half changed because it was crazy.
"I was talking with my players about what to do on the pitch but there are things that you cannot control."
Benitez accepted the recent run had damaged their title bid but he felt there was a long way to go in the run-in.
"When you are top of the table you know that every single game is really important so when you lose two points you have to be disappointed," he said.
"But we have an important game on Sunday (against Chelsea) and if we play like we played in the first half we can beat anyone.
"All the games will be important until the end of the season. It depends on the other teams too but we have to try to play well and try to win."