Rafa wants strong referee

29 April 2008
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has urged Italian referee Roberto Rossetti to be strong when he takes charge of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool, who have not scored at Chelsea in their previous eight visits under Benitez, need an away goal if they are to secure their place in the final in Moscow. Rossetti, who has taken charge of five Champions League matches this season, has presided over four home victories, with Chelsea's win in Valencia last October the only exception.

"In the last six games in Europe he has refereed, five times the local team have won and once they haven't. That was Valencia against Chelsea - it's very curious," said Benitez.

"If he knows he must be strong, that is okay.

"In the first one the referee wasn't really good in the decision but hopefully it will be different now."

Liverpool are aiming to reach their third Champions League final in the past four years and Benitez insists he is not even contemplating the prospect of failure.

"I'm not really worried about how the people will judge the season. It is more about how can we progress in this competition, how can we feel happy with ourselves after the game.

"I think it is important to know we have guaranteed fourth position. That has been the key over the past few years and now we must try to go to the final.

"Success for us is to win trophies, that is clear, but when you cannot, you must try to do the right things, it is as simple as that."