Rafa heaps praise on hero of the hour

Dirk Kuyt was on the end of some very positive words from Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez after the Dutchman’s two goals helped sink Tottenham at Anfield last night.

The 2-0 win means Liverpool move to within one point of the lucrative fourth spot in the Premier League, behind last night’s visitors.

Benitez opted to play Kuyt as a lone striker, despite some indifferent form this season. But his decision paid off as Kuyt expertly finished from the edge of the area just six minutes into the game and tied up the result, tucking away a penalty in injury time at the end of the 90 minutes.

A relieved Benitez was delighted with Kuyt’s performance, saying, “He was working very hard and maybe he could have scored four today. His commitment is always 100 per cent, so we are pleased for him.

“He has experience and has scored a lot of goals in Holland and here. Normally Gerrard will take our penalties, but he can do it well too.”

“It was important for us to score. Tottenham were playing well and I think we were not in control of the game in the first half – but we still had the better chances.

“After the first goal, they had to go forward and it made space for us. It was good for us because they had to take some risks.

“It was an important win for everyone here because we knew we had to reduce the gap and stay in the race, so I am really pleased with the players.

“They showed the same attitude, effort and team spirit as against Stoke and also real character.”

Liverpool now have a break at the weekend due to their FA Cup third round exit to Reading, and next face Wolves at Molineux on Tuesday night with the chance to move into fourth place.