Boss issues Gerrard test

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is calling upon captain Steven Gerrard to deliver another on-form performance tonight as the Reds meet Chelsea at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash.

Gerrard has been outstanding this season, scoring 21 goals and earning fantastic praise from the likes of French World Cup Winner Zinedine Zidane.

But Benitez knows that Chelsea will make it hard work for Gerrard, and has challenged him to come through with flying colours.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s 7.45pm kick-off, Benitez said, “It is very difficult to stop Stevie when he is at his best but we have to remember who we are up against.

“We are facing a team packed with very good players and maybe it will present a different test for Stevie.

“We all value Stevie’s contribution very highly and the fact that we have signed him up on a long-term contract shows we are doing our job properly.

“But make no mistake, he has got a challenge on his hands against this Chelsea team.”