Benitez calls for Liverpool passion

An exasperated Rafael Benitez has pleaded with his players to show backbone as Liverpool's crisis worsens.

The Anfield chief witnessed another distressing display as his side lost 2-1 at home to Arsenal, having been ahead at the break on Sunday after a vibrant first-half display.

Benitez was clearly shocked by the Liverpool capitulation when a Glen Johnson own goal wiped out Dirk Kuyt's early goal before Andrey Arshavin cracked a stunning winner and the Anfield men crumbled under the pressure.

It is an increasingly worrying situation for Benitez, whose side have won just three of their last 15 matches in all competitions.

With Wednesday's home clash with Wigan now taking the significance of a must-win match, Benitez called for unity and character from his shattered players.,

The Spaniard said: "We were in control in the first-half and on top of them all the time.

"But after we conceded the own goal everything changed, it was their time then and every minute they had more confidence and we were more nervous.

"The main thing now is that we have to show confidence, we have to show character.

"They play for Liverpool. We have to improve, we have to show character when we have problems and we must keep our confidence high.

"The only way to change things is to keep working hard and in this situation, when you are making mistakes, you have to be strong and try to do things properly in the future.

"We kept giving the ball away against Arsenal, it is something we have to improve on.

"Now we play Wigan on Wednesday here and we know we have to do better.

"We were not bad against Arsenal, we just made a big mistake that changed everything. The only way to change things is to stick together.

"We cannot be complaining, we cannot be arguing about anything. We must keep going and try to discover why we were so bad in the second half in terms of confidence."

He added: "We must discover why we couldn't do the same things in the second-half that we did so well in the first period.

"Everyone was expecting us to be higher in the table after the Arsenal game and a victory would have taken us to fifth place.

"It is difficult to explain what went wrong in the second-half, we were very poor and we have to improve on this.

"The target is just to be in the top four and to start winning matches we should be winning."

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