Liverpool 2 Udinese 3: Rodgers critical of ‘lazy’ second-half spell
Liverpool 2 Udinese 3: Brendan Rodgers criticises the Reds for a "lazy" spell after the visitors came from behind to win at Anfield
Brendan Rodgers criticised Liverpool for a “lazy” second-half spell after Udinese came from behind to seal a famous victory at Anfield.
Jonjo Shelvey gave the Reds a 23rd minute lead in the Group A encounter when he headed past Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic to net his third Europa League goal of the campaign.
But Antonio Di Natale scored 33 seconds into the second half after outmuscling Joe Allen before Sebastián Coates turned the Udinese captain’s free-kick past Pepe Reina in the 71st minute.
The visitors made it 3-1 when sublime skill by Di Natale saw the striker tee up Giovanni Pasquale who fired low past Reina, with substitute Luis Suárez scoring a late consolatory free-kick.
“We had total control in the first half and were deservedly in the lead, but we were so loose at the beginning of the second half it was frightening,” said Rodgers.
“Our concentration was very poor and before we knew it we were 3-1 down. The last 20 minutes was very good but it’s too late by then.
“I thought we were lazy. Lazy in our play, loose and sloppy.
“We didn’t do what I call the dirty bit: we didn’t track runners. If you don’t do that, if you don’t earn the right…
“Whether we thought the game was too comfortable? At this level it never is.”
He added: “It’s constant reminders and constant work. Some of our play, our movement and passing – you can sense the excitement within the players and the stadium.
“But you can’t keep having to score two, three and five goals to win games.
“Defensively, as a group, we need to be better.
“I will be open with my communication with the players, but they are disappointed as well.”