Benitez disappointed with Gerrard and Torres

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The Independent Football

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has revealed his disappointment over the Champions League displays of his top two stars, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

The partnership had been given the big build-up ahead of Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Fiorentina in Group E.

But both were well marshalled by an organised Fiorentina side, in which defenders Alessandro Gamberini and Dario Dainelli had outstanding games, along with former Juventus midfielder Cristiano Zanetti.

Benitez admitted: "Fiorentina did a good job (against Gerrard and Torres).

"It was disappointing to see them both kept out of the game as they were. The Fiorentina defenders handled them very well, they worked really hard against them.

"But it is not just about two players, nobody in the team was producing anything.

"Sometimes when defenders are too worried about Gerrard and Torres, it gives the rest of our team the chance to make use of the space.

"They can take that responsibility, but for long periods that did not happen.

"But this is not the end of things in Europe for us, and we must re-group and show the right mentality for our next match against Chelsea on Sunday."

Benitez was clearly stunned and angered by his side's poor display in Florence, and said: "What happened, particularly in the first half, is very hard to explain.

"We were expecting a difficult game, we knew Fiorentina would work hard and really press us when we were in possession, but we gave the ball away and we were not in the game.

"But it was the same players, the same tactics on the pitch after the interval and they were much better.

"It is not right to blame the midfielders (Lucas and Fabio Aurelio). We were not right all over the pitch.

"The problems were too many. The strikers, the wingers, the centre-backs, they were all to blame. Fiorentina were on top of us everywhere.

"The second half was different with the same players. I was very surprised by what I saw in the first half. We try to be organised, to be compact as a team.

"But it was too easy for them to get forward, to work 'between the lines' and to cause us problems. We were always arriving late for things.

"The players were frustrated with some decisions, but that was not the cause. We were not good enough and they let their frustrations show.

"The next two games in the group against Lyon are very important. We only have four games left in this group so we need two wins for sure. We must keep going until the end, we have to be ready for the next matches."

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