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Home » Sport » Football

Sam Allardyce reignites feud with Rafael Benitez

Sam Allardyce reignites feud with Rafael Benitez by claiming Steven Gerrard deserves credit for Liverpool's 2005 Champions League triumph


Rafael Benitez does not deserve any credit for Liverpool winning the 2005 Champions League final, according to Sam Allardyce.

The Spaniard was hailed as a hero by Anfield supporters for helping to mastermind the club's penalty shoot-out triumph over AC Milan in Istanbul, the fifth time they had won Europe's premier club trophy. 

Liverpool recovered from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at the end of extra-time - with Steven Gerrard scoring the first goal - before Jerzy Dudek performed heroics in the shoot-out

But Allardyce, a long-term critic of Benitez, says the credit for that remarkable win should be handed entirely to Gerrard.

In an extract from his new autobiography 'Big Sam', published in The Sun newspaper, Allardyce wrote: "Of course hecan say he won the Champions League with Liverpool, which is something I never did. But it was nowt to do with him.

"Steven Gerrard took that final by the scruff of the neck and dragged Liverpool back from 3-0 down against AC Milan to eventually win on penalties.

"I don't blame Benitez for claiming credit - but as managers we know the truth. It's like when you make a substitution in desperation and it comes off. You get all the credit for your tactical brilliance when it's often just luck."

Allardyce also laid bare the reasons for his feud with Benitez, which he says was down to the latter showing him a lack of respect.

"He didn't like me and he thought he was superior," he wrote. "Here was a trendy foreign manager with all his smart ideas getting beat by some oik from the Midlands.

"I put his comments on the wall of the changing roombut Ivan Campo and Jay-Jay Okocha said, 'We don't need those, gaffer, we'll beat him anyway.'

"Benitez wouldn't talk to me at all and that just made it all the better when we won. I can't stand people who disrespect me the way he did."


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