Benitez: it's not my fault

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has been trying to shift the bale away from himself for their shock 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa last night. Liverpool lost at Anfield for the first time in the league since December 2007, 31 games ago, and left the Reds way behind Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United after only three games.

However none of this is due to his undermining and eventual selling of Xabi Alonso, nor was it anything to do with his inability to buy a wide man with any dribbling or crossing ability. No, it was down to senior players, who must take responsibility for their terrible start to the season.

‘It is up to the team to improve, not just some names, but it is also up to the senior players to take the responsibility and take us forward,’ said the Liverpool manager. ‘In the first 20 minutes we created plenty of chances and played well. Then we conceded the own-goal and started to make more mistakes. We were not playing well, and we were up against a team who are excellent on the counter-attack. Their keeper made some great saves, but when that happens we just have to make more chances.

‘This squad is virtually the same as last season, so I believe it is good enough to mount a title challenge. But we must do more, we must win at Bolton.’

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