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Football: Liverpool are lucky to be in the final - Wenger.


ARSENE WENGER last night declared that Liverpool are 'lucky' to be in the Champions League at all this season as he cast doubts on their claims to be allowed to defend the title if they beat AC Milan.

UEFA look set to dash Liverpool's hopes of being granted a special place as winners if they finish outside the top four.

However, Wenger believes tomorrow's opponents are already fortunate to be in a competition previously reserved for league winners, having finished only fourth in the Premiership last season. ' Normally they should not have played in this cup. They are already lucky to be in it because of the advantage this country has in having four qualifying places,' he argued.

'Most countries have only three places, so they already had an advantage in qualifying last season after finishing fourth.'

Wenger praised Rafa Benitez for his achievement against the odds, but insisted that even another year of European failure at Highbury had not changed his priorities.

'Why would we change our style? Liverpool were one minute away from going out before Steven Gerrard's winner against Olympiakos and who knows if the ball was in or not against Chelsea?

'The Champions League has now completely become a cup competition without a second group stage. Everybody can win it
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 7, 2005
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