Rafa keeps us on our toes

The Israeli international's 82nd-minute header was enough to secure yet another European giantkilling for a Liverpool side who started without captain Steven Gerrard and finished without Fernando Torres after the Spaniard succumbed to an ankle injury.

But even gaining a crucial advantage going into next week's Anfield return leg was not enough to impress Benitez, who did not so much as shake his players' hands as they celebrated in the dressing room.

Benayoun said: "It was madness in our changing rooms and I had to take my mobile phone into the toilets to call my family. It was the only way I could make myself heard. Everyone was screaming and shouting, except for the manager, of course. He was his usual calm self.

"He didn't even congratulate us or shake hands, never mind join in all the hugs and backslapping that was going on. That's just how he is. He is very professional and he wants us to be the same all the time.

"He won't stand for any of us getting carried away or feeling we are superior to anyone else. My wife and young children had been jumping up and down with excitement, watching at home, but he didn't say a word to me about the goal."

Benitez's cold, unemotional approach has not always been universally welcomed by his players, with Gerrard even admitting that "a well done off Rafa" was one of the things he wanted most in his career.

But it is an approach which the Spaniard firmly believes in and Benayoun is growing to appreciate, despite clashes earlier this season when he found his first-team chances limited.

He said: "He likes keeping you on your toes. But I have come to appreciate that at a club like Liverpool you can't take anything for granted. I am learning how things work here.

"You can score a very famous goal, an absolutely crucial one, and it will all be forgotten the following day, as far as the manager is concerned. He only thinks of the next challenge, and that is how it should be."

He added: "It has taught me you can't rest on your laurels, and I am already looking at my goal in Madrid that way. For me, it will only be important if we go all the way and win the Champions League. Otherwise, it will count for nothing."

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