Benitez delighted with Reds display

But the Spaniard remains realistic and admits that the title race is still in the hands of United.

Manchester United took the lead with a penalty goal by Cristiano Ronaldo but Liverpool hit back four times to make it 4-1.

“I have good players with a good mentality and character,” he said.

“The players had confidence before the game and then worked very hard to play well against a very good team.

“We knew we had to win, and it was very difficult after conceding a goal, but still we went forward and pushed and tried and believed.

“It was a great game. I think we have played better, but not against teams at the level of United so I am really pleased for the players.”

He added: “The league is very difficult but at least we now have more options and we are more confident that we can beat anyone and stay closer.

“The main thing today was to get three points so I am very proud and pleased.”