Rafa expects Reds to rally after painful Blues defeat

LIVERPOOL boss Rafael Benitez insisted his side were still in the title race despite watching them slip to a third defeat of the season yesterday, at Stamford Bridge.<br /><br />It is more than 40 years since a team has gone onto win the title after losing three of their opening eight matches, but the Reds chief remains unfazed at having suffered more defeats than the whole of last season.<br /><br />Second half goals from Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda ensured Chelsea returned to the top of the table while opening up a six-point gap over Liverpool.<br />But Benitez insists there is still a long way to go in the title race and has no need for concern just yet.<br /><br />&ldquo;This year, the top sides will lose points against the other teams, so the main thing is to try and improve and do better each week. We will try to do better against Sunderland.<br /><br />&ldquo;We drew a lot of games last season. We lost just two but people were telling me about the draws. Now we&rsquo;re winning more and losing a few but maybe we&rsquo;ll have more points.&rdquo;<br /><br />While French duo Anelka and Malouda hit the target it was top striker Didier Drogba who stole the show with a controversial display of theatrics which angered Benitez in a compelling contest. The enigmatic Ivorian went to ground far too easily on more than one occasion, but still won his battle of the strikers with Fernando Torres by creating both Chelsea goals.<br /><br />First he crossed for Anelka to fire past Pepe Reina on the half hour after Javier Mascherano had been disposed by Deco, and then outsmarted Jamie Carragher and Fabio Aurelio to hand Malouda the easiest of finishes in stoppage time.<br /><br />Chelsea were indebted to a fine performance from captain John Terry but when the England skipper was beaten, stand-in keeper Hilario was on hand to keep out efforts from Torres and Albert Riera to secure the points.<br /><br />Relieved Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti added: &ldquo;We got Wigan out of our mind. Today we played very well with good concentration. It was fantastic.&rdquo;