Liverpool fans thank Rafael Benitez for Man City's defeat

Steven Gerrard and Rafael Benitez
Liverpool's Champions League win, which Rafael Benitez oversaw, is regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in football history

Once a red, always a red?

When Rafael Benitez left Liverpool in 2010, he was already a legend in the eyes of many Reds fans.

The current Newcastle boss guided Liverpool to a historic Champions League victory over AC Milan in 2005 and departed as an Anfield favourite five years later.

And he may have given his old club a huge boost in the Premier League title race after his current club - Newcastle - defied the odds to upset Manchester City with a 2-1 win at St James' Park on Tuesday night.

Liverpool have a four-point lead at the top of the table but could extend the gap over City to seven points with victory against Leicester on Wednesday evening (20:00 GMT kick-off).

Following the surprise result, Liverpool fans were - perhaps understandably - in celebratory mood on social media. And their former boss was the subject of their affection.

Jay Riley Twitter

Darren Farley: Rafa Benitez, I love you.

Lauren Black: Rafa Benitez you beautiful beautiful man.

Annie's Anfield tweet

Henry Jackson: I'll always adore Rafa Benitez, but my love for him right now is bordering on unhealthy.

AnfieldRd96: Give Rafa Benitez a Premier League winners' medal if we win the league.

Mohamed Yousef Tweet

Carl Anka: Rafa Benitez loves Liverpool so much, man.

LFC Australia: RAFA BENITEZ: Performing miracles since 2005.

Andrew Ebling Tweet

But while Liverpool fans were beginning to dream it all might just be possible after all, former Manchester City defender Danny Mills gave them a gentle reminder on BBC Radio 5 live that "the title race is not over".

"It's an unbelievable result - not just for Newcastle, but for Liverpool too," he said. "This is an incredible opportunity for Liverpool.

"They can play with a bit more freedom against Leicester. Even if they draw they are still in a good position, but if they win... then it's a huge margin.

"I don't think it's over but they have got to slip up quite badly and City have to keep winning. To have a seven-point lead at this stage of the season, the title race is not over, but Liverpool are in a very good position."

Top of the table graphic
Liverpool could move seven points clear at the top with victory over Leicester at Anfield on Wednesday evening

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