FLORENCE, Italy - Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez insisted his team will bounce back in Sunday's crucial Premier League clash against Chelsea following their Champions League defeat to Fiorentina.
Liverpool were virtual spectators in a mesmerising first 45 minutes from their hosts in Florence on Tuesday in which the Merseysiders were fortunate to head into the dressing rooms at half-time with just a two-goal deficit.
Fiorentina's fluid passing and busy movement had left the Reds chasing shadows as two-goal hero Stevan Jovetic proved unplayable.
But if the English team improved after the break, it was partly because they could not have got any worse than a first half in which their midfield of Fabio Aurelio and Lucas was overrun and star striker Fernando Torres barely got a touch.
It was more like the Liverpool of old in the second period with Steven Gerrard starting to dictate play, Dirk Kuyt getting more involved and Torres becoming a threat. And that is the football Benitez wants to see at the weekend in a match Liverpool really cannot afford to lose.
"I think it will be totally different, hopefully we will see the Liverpool Football Club of the second half, we will be better," he said before insisting that his team are as strong as ever.
"It could have been different for us, we knew if we scored an early goal (in the second half) it would put us back in the game but we couldn't.
"We had two chances but this was the difference."
Benitez also complained about the offside rule that deems a player who is in an offside position but not interfering with play not to be offside.
Former Chelsea forward Adrian Mutu was in an offside position when the first goal was scored. - Sapa-AFP