Benitez calls for ‘intensity’ and ‘patience’ in Reds’ comeback bid vs. Real Madrid

Intensity and patience will be key for Liverpool as they look to plot the downfall of Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League tie, in the eyes of Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard may have seen his managerial career with a foot in both camps, but there is no denying Benitez is willing the Reds on for another famous European comeback.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men need to overturn a 3-1 deficit on Wednesday evening, with 2-0 enough to seal their place in the Champions League semi-final, but they must first learn from the mistakes in the Spanish capital.

The Reds were taught a lesson and can ill afford to allow Real free reign of Anfield to do as they will.

And they will be without the cauldron that is a packed house at Anfield, revered for its power to will the home side to victory and as such Benitez has called for a balance between intensity and patience and pressure and intrinsic motivation.

“The way the tie is, if you score once, you are back in it. Even if that takes an hour, so be it,” Benitez told the Mirror.

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, April 6, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between Real Madird CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. (Pic by Propaganda)

“For me, the key will be not to get too anxious – for them to manage that anxiety – don’t rush it. Maintain concentration levels and keep focused.

“With quality players, a goal will come.

“But Liverpool have to be in a position where they can keep a clean sheet – and they will have to be more aggressive at Anfield and play with greater intensity over 90 minutes than they did in Madrid.

“Sadly, they cannot rely on the crowd to provide the spark for that.

“In my experience, the supporters at Anfield have been a huge factor in those European nights. I don’t think you can dispute that. It has been one reason for their success. One hundred percent.

“Now, that drive will have to come from within.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 25, 2020: Liverpool and Atalanta players stand for a moment's silence, to remember Diego Maradona who died earlier in the day, before the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and Atalanta BC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As he noted before the first leg, it will be about exposing Real Madrid’s weaknesses and not allowing their elite ball users time and space to hurt Liverpool.

But Benitez is under no doubt that Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane “have it in them to cause problems” but it will all be down to the team finding “that intensity to their play.”

Anfield being empty or not, Klopp’s men have proven they have the power to strike back and not be written off and they will get another chance to add a famous chapter to their story on Wednesday.