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."

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
tv
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
News
peopleJay Z and Beyoncé to buy £5.5m London townhouse
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
Arts & Entertainment
With Jo Joyner in 'Trying Again'
tvHe talks to Alice Jones on swapping politics for pillow talk
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Student
student
News
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Arts & Entertainment
tvJudge for yourself
Life & Style
tech
News
Tough call: is the psychological distress Trott is suffering an illness? (Getty)
healthJonathan Trott and the problems of describing mental illness
Life & Style
23 April 2014: Google marks St George's Day with a drawing depicting England's patron saint slaying a fire-breathing dragon
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents