Liverpool 2 Ludogorets 1: Brendan Rodgers promises improvements
Liverpool 2 Ludogorets 1: Brendan Rodgers promises the Reds will improve after unconvincing win at Anfield
Brendan Rodgers is confident that Liverpool will recapture their best form after the Reds stuttered to victory over Ludogorets at Anfield.
Liverpool struggled to find their rhythm as the five-time European champions played their first Champions League game since 2009.
We are not at the level we were at last year yet, that will come with time
£16m summer signing Mario Balotelli appeared to have won the game with eight minutes remaining when the Italian scored his first Liverpool goal.
However, Paulos Dani Abalo equalised in the 90th minute to momentarily postpone Liverpool’s celebrations before Steven Gerrard bailed the Reds out of trouble with a stoppage-time penalty.
“It was a great night for everyone at the club after five years,” Rodgers told ITV Sport.
“To get the result was excellent so big congratulations to the players because they showed great character to keep going.”
Rodgers continued: “We had signs of anxiety, we are not at the level we were at last year yet, that will come with time.”
The Liverpool manager praised the quality of Balotelli’s finish after the 24-year-old endured a largely frustrating European debut for the Reds.
“It was a wonderful finish from Mario Balotelli,” Rodgers added.
“We told him to get in the penalty area more often, it was important for him. When he is in there, his strength and power… it was a world-class finish.”