Benitez wants more after five against Villa

Liverpool 5 Aston Villa 0

Liverpool almost satisfied their hard-to-please manager Rafael Benitez with the 5-0 demolition of Aston Villa which today edged them to within one point of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United.





Benitez was disappointed from the point that Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel was sent off for conceding Liverpool's second penalty - which resulted in their final goal.



From then on, with 25 minutes left, the Anfield men took their foot off the gas.



They had already overhauled United's once superior goal difference and have now scored more times than the champions this season.



"There were times after the fifth goal when we should have gone on and scored more," said Benitez.



"We should have kept going, scored more and made sure that our goal difference was better when we were playing against 10 men.



"You never know what we will need, how many more goals we could have scored during that period.



"Don't get me wrong. I was happy with the performance and the result, but we should have gone on and scored more."



Albert Riera and Dirk Kuyt scored in the first period, before Steven Gerrard got the first of his dead-ball hat-trick.



The first came from the spot after a foul on Riera, and the second was a 20-yard free-kick after Kuyt had been felled. Gerrard then netted the fifth from the spot, after Friedel had been dismissed for bringing down Fernando Torres.



Benitez is content now that Liverpool have put themselves back into a position from which they can help shape their own destiny.



"As far as the title chase is concerned, we just have to keep doing our job - we must not be concerned about United's results and how they are playing," he believes.



"If United do make mistakes we must be ready, and that means carrying on doing what we are doing and winning points.



"We are playing well, and they will see that we are playing well and trying to win every game. We have eight games left, and every one must be won - and be treated as a cup final.



"Certainly we must maintain this momentum, and when we are playing well it just increases confidence.



"We now have an international break, so the players must come back from that, re-group and start playing again just as we are at the moment."



Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill conceded his side were overpowered.



"We were well beaten by an exceptional Liverpool side," he said.



"But we did contribute to our own downfall. At 1-0 down, we gave away an unbelievably bad goal. It was a shocking mistake.



"Liverpool have had two remarkable results before this game, beating Real Madrid and Manchester United - and they certainly did not need any help from us to achieve what they wanted.



"We played poorly. We gave away some lousy goals and we have to get back on track.



"We were doing fine four or five weeks ago, but we were well beaten by a better side. But we are a better side than we showed in this game."



:: Benitez paid tribute to Liverpool secretary Bryce Morrison, who died yesterday morning.



"Bryce is a big loss to this club, and this has been a big week for us. But this is a very sad day," he said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home