Rafa recounts “emotional” Anfield return; wishes Liverpool luck in Europa League quest

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Rafael Benitez has spoken very fondly of his return to Anfield yesterday as his Newcastle United side came from behind to draw 2-2 with Liverpool in the Premier League.

Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana goals gave us a 2-0 half-time lead over the Magpies, who replied in the second half through strikes from Papiss Cisse and Jack Colback.

SEE MORE: Liverpool player ratings v Newcastle: Lallana & Moreno best, but poor second-half sees 2-2 draw

Even after Benitez’s boys had pinched two points from us, the Kop rose to sing the Spaniard’s name in tribute to his six years as manager on Merseyside from 2004-2010.

It was the 56-year-old’s second return to Anfield – the previous one being as interim Chelsea boss in 2013 – and Benitez described it was a “very emotional” experience for him.

And Rafa classily added a message of good luck to the current Reds team as we chase Europa League glory, continuing with Thursday’s semi-final first leg away to Villarreal.

Benitez is quoted by the Echo as saying: “It’s very emotional. The fans, the city, the club – I have a very good relationship with Liverpool obviously. My family still live here.

“It was emotional because the Liverpool fans were singing my name and afterwards the Newcastle fans were singing my name so really pleased to have this reaction and really pleased to get a point against a very good team.

“Hopefully now they can do well in the Europa League.”

Likewise, hopefully Benitez can be successful in keeping Newcastle up. The Toon are one point adrift of safety as they battle with Sunderland and Norwich City to avoid the drop.

It would be good to see him at Anfield again next season.

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