Rodgers: No excuse over UCL exit.


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has expressed his disappointment after being eliminated from the Champions League by Basel.

A 1-1 draw against Basel on Tuesday night meant Liverpool's Champions League campaign came to an end. An away goal from Fabian Frei in the first half was followed by a red card to substitute Lazar Markovic on the hour mark made things even tougher for Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard scored with a free-kick ten minute from time to get a draw but that wasn't enough for Liverpool to qualify for the knock-out stages.

"We're obviously disappointed but we can't have any excuses about not qualifying - we had enough games," Rodgers said at his post-match press conference, liverpoolfc.com reported.

"The big game for us was away in Basel, where we were disappointing, didn't perform well, conceded a poor goal and lost out there. We can have no complaints. If you deserve to go through and get the points, then you go through.

"They're a good side and they are experienced at this level. They're the top side in Swiss football and they regularly qualify for the Champions League. So they have got experience behind them. Over the course of the games, they've deserved to go through.

"We haven't been good enough over the course of the qualification to get through. We have got to take that on the chin now and move into the next competition, and we'll hope to do better in that.

"In the first half we weren't good enough - it's as simple as that. Technically, we were way short. This is a competition, in particular, where technically you've got to be much better than what we were in the first half.

"Our positioning wasn't good, the options for the guy on the ball weren't anywhere near what we would want and expect from a team that is based on a technical game. In the second half, we were much better on that front and showed more courage to go and play.

"In the last 10 minutes it looked like we could maybe get the goal; we got into some good areas but the final pass just let us down. We have all learned from the experience this season and we now go into the Europa League, which is very much a prestigious tournament and we want to do very well in that.

"When that comes around, we'll be really focused and hopefully by that stage our performance level will have improved greatly and we can go on in the second half of the season and do well."

He added: "We'd earned the right to be in it this year after a wonderful season last year, but over the course of the games we weren't good enough, didn't collect enough points and ultimately went out.

"It has been a really good learning experience for us and we'll fight as hard as we possibly can to ensure it's not another five years. We've come a long way in a short period of time.

"But we go out tonight and are bitterly disappointed. There's been a lot of learning over the course of the games and we'll look to fight very hard to be back in it again next year."

Written by @SimonOmokhua


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