Udinese 0 Liverpool 1: Rodgers praises ‘fantastic’ performance
Udinese 0 Liverpool 1: Brendan Rodgers heaps praise on the Reds after Jordan Henderson scored the winner in Udine
Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on Liverpool for a “fantastic” performance at Udinese after the Reds secured victory to book their place in the Europa League last-32 draw.
The Reds took a first-half lead when Luis Suárez and Suso combined from a corner to tee up Jordan Henderson, who finished from close range in the 23rd minute.
Rodgers’ men had chances to double their lead but Henderson, Suso and Suárez were guilty of wasting chances after the interval, before substitute Antonio Di Natale fired narrowly over deep into stoppage time.
“I thought we were fantastic tonight,” Rodgers said.
“We had two objectives coming into this stage of the tournament. Firstly, tonight was our 10th game in the tournament and qualification was important. Secondly, we wanted to give some experience to our younger players.
“We were in a difficult group with good teams – teams with good Champions League experience and one of the richest teams in the world.
“But the mentality of the team was very strong and our desire and belief was very strong. We won and that is good for our future.”
Rodgers reserved special praise for Henderson after the midfielder capped an impressive display with his first-half strike.
“His industry tonight was superb,” he continued. “He is a great lad. He works very, very hard and he’s come in over the last month or so and made a good contribution to the team.
“He was unfortunate not to get a second goal – the ‘keeper made a wonderful save – but he’s got that quality to arrive in the box and he’s got a finish in him.
“I’m delighted with him and his hard work is paying off.”