Rafa defends City's Samba stars
Reds boss points to positives in Sunday opponents
Last Updated: February 22, 2009 10:25am
Benitez: Defending Robinho and Elano
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has defended Manchester City's Brazilian stars ahead of meeting Mark Hughes' side on Sunday.
City, who travel to Anfield, are hoping to emerge as footballing heavyweights following the summer arrival of billionaire owners the Abu Dhabi United Group.
But the club have endured a difficult season, recording only one win on their travels, and the likes of Samba duo Robinho and Elano have come in for criticism.
But Benitez, who is desperate to defeat City in order to close the eight-point gap to Premier League leaders Manchester United, has offered his backing.
"It is more difficult for the Brazilian players because the style of football is so different," Benitez said in the Daily Star on Sunday.
"In England it's more physical. But Robinho is scoring goals. He's is playing well. He has ability and is showing that ability on the pitch.
"Sometimes he can play badly but that's the same for all the players."