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By ESPN Staff

Benitez labels Everton a 'small team'

Everton have reacted to Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez describing the Toffees as a 'small team' following the 0-0 Barclays Premiership draw at Anfield.

Liverpool boss Benitez said after the 205th Merseyside derby: 'There was only one team that wanted to win and one team that didn't want to lose...they had nine men all the time behind the ball.

'When you play against the smaller teams at Anfield you know the game will be narrow and compact and at times we were a little bit nervous.'

Everton chief executive Keith Wyness responded in a statement to the club website, www.evertonfc.com: 'It is disappointing to hear such an unnecessary comment at the conclusion of what was such a splendid local derby.

'Of course, Mr Benitez is entitled to his opinion but I suspect he is in a minority of one in believing Everton is, in any respect, a small football club.

'Somehow we just expect more of a Liverpool manager.'