Liverpool 1 Basel 1: Brendan Rodgers urges Reds to ‘fight’ for top four
Brendan Rodgers is critical of the referee's decision to send off Lazar Markovic in 1-1 draw with Basel
Brendan Rodgers urged Liverpool to fight for their place in next season’s Champions League after the Reds crashed out of the competition following a 1-1 draw with Basel.
The Northern Irishman’s side made a poor start to their must-win game and the visitors capitalised as Fabian Frei broke the deadlock with brilliant long-range strike in the 25th minute.
e have been unlucky with injuries to key players who are important to the way that we play
Liverpool’s task was made harder after Lazar Markovic was controversially sent off for appearing to catch Behrang Safari in the face before Steven Gerrard offered late hope with a free-kick.
“We have to fight going forward to be in this competition next season,” Rodgers told ITV Sport.
“We are not too far off the top four and, if we get there, we will be better in it next season.
“The possibility of January signings is something to discuss with the owners, but there was a big investment in the summer.
“We have been unlucky with injuries to key players who are important to the way that we play, but that is to take nothing away from the players tonight who have put everything into the game.”
Rodgers criticised referee Björn Kuipers for Markovic’s 60th-minute sending off after the Liverpool winger appeared to make minimal contact with Safari’s face.
“I thought it was an awful decision, I thought the referee was poor tonight to say the least,” he continued.
“Young Markovic has come on and been bright and, although he has put his hand out, it was not a sending off.
“The referee has seen the lad lying on the floor holding his face, but I don’t know if he has seen the actual incident.”