Europa League - Managers: Benitez wanted more

PA Sport - Fri, 19 Feb 09:38:00 2010

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was satisfied with his side's 1-0 Europa League victory over Unirea Urziceni, but wanted more goals.

2009-10 Europa League Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez (right) watches over Albert Riera from the touchline - 0

Striker David Ngog's goal nine minutes from time eventually ended the resistance to give the Reds some breathing space ahead of next week's return leg and, although Benitez would have liked a bigger cushion, he was happy to take a slender lead to Bucharest.

"I think we could have scored one or two more goals but that is football," he said. "The team was doing well in defence, 1-0 and a clean sheet is not bad."

He added: "Sometimes when the other team is defending well you have to be patient and keep more of the ball and then we scored at the end.

"It is always important to score, especially in this competition, and not concede so we were waiting for this goal and were really please when we scored.

"It is not the best result but it is good. If we score one [in Romania] they have to score three so a clean sheet was important so we have to be relieved.

"If you ask me if I would prefer 2-0 then 100 per cent yes but you cannot change the score now.

"We knew they were well-organised and they were a good team so we were expecting more or less their style of play."

Two substitutes played a major part in the goal with Ryan Babel crossing for Daniel Pacheco to head back to Ngog and Benitez said he was glad to have options from the bench.

"It is always important to have good players on the bench with skills that can change a game," he added.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has challenged Bobby Zamora to smash through the 20-goal barrier after the striker sealed a 2-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Zamora headlined a commanding display against last year's UEFA Cup winners by firing a spectacular 63rd-minute winner that saw the ball hit the net via the crossbar.

It was his 14th strike of the season and he also set up the opener for Zoltan Gera to revive speculation over his chances of an England call-up.

Hodgson believes there is more to come from a player who has surpassed all expectations this season after almost joining Hull in the summer.

"It was a wonder strike from Bobby. He's got two feet - I don't know which is his best and neither does he," Hodgson said. "Apart from his typically accomplished performance as a target man setting things up and working hard, his strike was of real quality.

"We're now talking about a forward who has scored 14 goals in 31 starts. It's an excellent strike rate. I hope he can get over the 20-goal mark to crown his season."

PA Sport

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