Benitez not drawn on future

Image: Benitez: Ignoring speculation

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez would not be drawn on his future after his team beat Luton 5-0 in the FA Cup

Benitez refuses to comment on speculation

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez would not be drawn on his future after watching his team beat Luton 5-0 at Anfield on Tuesday to progress into the fourth round of the FA Cup. The League One outfit defended resolutely under stiff Liverpool pressure but Ryan Babel finally broke the deadlock in first-half injury time (46). Further goals from Sami Hyypia (57) and a Steven Gerrard hat-trick (52, 64, 72) put the issue beyond doubt. The result means the Reds face either Swansea or non-league Havant and Waterlooville - who play on Wednesday - in the next round.

Boost

The win came as a welcome boost to under-fire Benitez, whose future came under increased speculation this week after Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks revealed he and George Gillett had met with Jurgen Klinsmann earlier in the season to discuss the possibility of the German replacing the Spaniard. But Benitez refused to be drawn on the issue, despite repeated questions about the affair. He simply told Sky Sports 2: "We weren't really thinking about it because we know it's important to progress in the FA Cup. "I was not thinking too much about this, I was thinking about the game. "I'm really happy because we won 5-0 and progressed in the competition."
Difficult
He added: "We knew it would be difficult to score the first goal but afterwards it would be an open game. "We had a lot of chances and they were really hard with a lot of players behind the ball. We were trying to do our job and they were trying to theirs." Hat-trick hero Gerrard hoped the win would re-direct attention onto the Reds' exploits on the pitch. "It's not just about the hat-trick, the win is the most important thing," he told Sky Sports 2. "It was important the headlines tomorrow were about football. Every time we've put the TV on we see what's happening off the pitch. "It's not about the manager, its about the team and progressing into the fourth round. We need to keep winning so the headlines are about the football." Jamie Carragher was captain for the night as he made his 500th appearance for the Merseysiders. Asked whether he had ever expected to make the landmark, he added: "I never thought that. Even now I don't look too far ahead. You never know what's around the corner."

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