Liverpool good enough to win Premier League title, says Benitez

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has backed The Reds for the Premier League title.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez gestures during his side's 4-0 loss against Liverpool on Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has backed the The Reds to win the Premier League title.

The Spaniard saw his Newcastle United side beaten 4-0 at Anfield on Boxing Day, a result that saw Liverpool move six points clear in top spot.

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Goals from Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho earned Liverpool its eighth straight win in the Premier League and a 100th victory in all competitions under Jurgen Klopp.

And with champion Manchester City slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Leicester City, enabling Tottenham to move up to second, Benitez feels Liverpool have what it takes to win the league for the first time since 1989-90.

"Liverpool showed that they are good enough to win the title," said Benitez in a news conference.

"[They have a] very good team, [and] a very good squad so they have very good players on the bench also.

"To win a league title you need to be consistent and they can do it."

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Newcastle had kept clean sheets in each of its last two Premier League matches, but Benitez was in no doubt defensive issues cost his side at Anfield.

"It's difficult to explain when you lose a game in the way that we lost," Benitez said. "We did well, we had our chance, we didn't take it, we made a mistake and gave them hope and belief but still we were in the game against a very good team.

"We had some moments where they were pushing but you go in at half-time at 1-0 down, then in the second half a soft penalty [which saw Salah fouled by Paul Dummett] changed everything.

"And now you have to explain why we conceded four goals."

Benitez said before the game it would be a "miracle" if Newcastle survived in the Premier League, despite finishing 10th last season.

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The Newcastle boss has regularly shown frustration with the thin squad at his disposal but said there are no January deals in the pipeline.

Asked if that worried him, Benitez said: "Yes.

"I was talking with [managing director] Lee Charnley and still I have the same feeling, that it will not be easy. I have no idea."