Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez says he is not quitting. That's what the fans at Anfield want and his announcement could not have come at a more opportune time than Wednesday night when his boys pulled off a solitary away goal against Real madrid.
His three words "I am staying" were telling after the victory.
There were rumours before the match at the Bernabeu that Benitez's relationship with the Liverpool management had come to such a pass that he was to announce his decision to quit immediately after the Madrid game.
"I was clear before the game that I was not thinking about resigning," he insisted. "I need to keep working and win games for Liverpool; then I will speak to the owners further down the track," the Liverpool manager was quoted as saying in the Guardian.
"My lawyer was talking to the owners' advisers and there will be discussions in the future. I will try to enjoy this victory for now, not worry about negotiations. We have plenty of time."
Benitez insisted that Liverpool are not through yet, not with Yossi Benayoun's goal in the first leg.
He also would not like to say which is his priority, the Champions League or the Premiership, at least not until after the second leg in two weeks' time. For now, he would talk only on Wednesday's victory.
"Tonight, we had planned to defend well and play on the break. After all, we had Steve Gerrard missing and [Fernando] Torres got injured in the first minute. Because they were the home team, they had to attack us and the more you throw people forward the more gaps you leave at the back. We knew that would give us the chance to launch the counter-attacks. We had good chances. I thought we did a very good job."
Real coach Juande Ramos also said the tie was still alive.
"We now have no choice but to go to Anfield and look for the victory, but one goal is not such a big lead. If we play well we can win at Anfield," he said.
"Liverpool did not surprise me at all. They were very conservative, they just defended and waited for their chance."