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Rafa's hanging by a thread

<strong>LYON (1)</strong> vs <strong>LIVERPOOL (1)</strong><br /><br />CAPTAIN Jamie Carragher leapt to the defence of boss Rafael Benitez last night as Liverpool&rsquo;s Champions League campaign hung by the thinnest of threads.<br /><br />Lisandro Lopez&rsquo;s injury-time equaliser heaped more pressure on the under-fire Spaniard with the Reds on the verge of a humiliating European exit.<br /><br />Ryan Babel earlier gave his boss something to cheer with a spectacular strike to put the Reds in front with eight minutes remaining.<br /><br />But after Benitez substituted star striker Fernando Torres, Lopez seized on a defensive lapse to leave Liverpool&rsquo;s dreams in tatters.<br /><br />The point means the Reds must win their last two group games to stand any chance of reaching the last 16, while hoping Fiorentina drop points at home to Lyon later this month.<br /><br />But Carragher, standing in as skipper for the injured Steven Gerrard, believes his side are still in with a shout and backs Benitez to inspire a miracle. &ldquo;We still believe we will get through,&rdquo; the former England defender said. &ldquo;We have been in difficult positions before and we&rsquo;ve come through like in 2005 when we had to win in Marseille in the group stages and we came through. It&rsquo;s disappointing but a draw doesn&rsquo;t mean we're totally out of it.&rdquo; In praise of his boss, Carragher added: &ldquo;If you look at the manager&rsquo;s record in Europe we&rsquo;ve won it and been to the final and semi-final and quarter-finals. So our Champions League record under the manager has been superb.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Reds dominated long spells of the match but were left to rue missed chances with home keeper Hugo Lloris keeping out efforts from both Torres and Andrei Voronin.<br /><br />Benitez responded by replacing Voronin with Babel and it proved a masterstroke as the young Dutchman fired the Reds in front with a thunderous 25-yard effort.<br /><br />But just when the points looked to be in the bag, Lisandro latched on a slip from makeshift centre backs Daniel Agger and Sotirios Kyrgiakos to loft the ball over keeper Pepe Reina.<br /><br />Dejected Benitez added: &ldquo;To concede a goal in the last minute is really, really unlucky. With all the problems that we have it was a really positive response from the players.&rdquo;