Friday 9 December 2016

Christian Benteke admits that £32.5m price tag has made life tougher at Liverpool

Declan Warrington

Published 08/03/2016 | 07:59

Christian Benteke celebrates with team mates after scoring the late winner in Sunday's win over Crystal Palace
Christian Benteke celebrates with team mates after scoring the late winner in Sunday's win over Crystal Palace

Christian Benteke has acknowledged the £32.5million Liverpool paid for him means he will always be under scrutiny and that it has made his time at Anfield more difficult.

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Benteke was accused of diving by Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew on Sunday when he won a late penalty and scored from the spot in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time to secure Liverpool's 2-1 win at Selhurst Park.

The goal was only his eighth since he joined the club under former manager Brendan Rodgers, and Benteke revealed he had expected more from his time at Liverpool so far.

"Yeah (the price tag is) hard, because I know everything that I'm going to do people are going to talk about the money," said the 25-year-old, who last summer became Liverpool's second most expensive signing but has already found his future in question under Jurgen Klopp.

"But as long I'm alright with me, with myself, and I try to work hard for my team, that's the main thing.

"It's not the season that I was expecting, but it's football, and you have some good times and some bad times and you have to deal with them.

"Yeah (scoring again meant a great deal), this is part of football sometimes, you have these kind of moments, and when the manager calls you you have to be ready and you have to try to contribute towards the team.

"It's hard to say (if the goal can kick-start my Liverpool career), because football, you never know what's going to happen. I take the minutes the manager gives me and try to fight."

Palace defender Damien Delaney - who made minimal contact with Benteke when the striker went down - used social media to insist the penalty was wrongly awarded, but when asked about the incident, the Belgium striker said: "I've just seen the videos, and it was not like the biggest fall, but he touched me, and it was the right decision.

"The assistant had the best position, and he said that it's a penalty, and I've seen the replay, like I said again, and yeah, he touched the back of my ankle."

Asked if he would have gone down the same way if the challenge had been on the half-way line, Benteke said: "Yeah. I will play the game."

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