Liverpool 1 Basel 1: Steven Gerrard has no complaints after group-stage exit
Steven Gerrard doesn't believe 10-man Liverpool deserved to beat Basel and progress to last 16
Steven Gerrard offered no defence for Liverpool after 10-man Reds crashed out of the Champions League following a 1-1 draw with Basel.
Needing three points to secure their place in the knockout stage, Liverpool fell behind in the 25th minute after Fabian Frei’s brilliant long-range effort silenced Anfield.
You qualify over six games and we have not been good enough
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers introduced Lazar Markovic in search of an equaliser at half-time but the Serbian was sent off after he appeared to catch Behrang Safari in the face.
The Reds captain offered late hope with a stunning free-kick at Anfield but Liverpool couldn’t muster a winner which would have secured their progression to the last 16.
“I still knew after I scored that it was going to be difficult with 10 men and running out of time, but it gave us some hope and, as the manager said, the first half was not good enough and we had to go down fighting,” Gerrard told ITV Sport.
“I don’t think we deserved better. We have not gone out because of this performance, we weren’t good enough away to Basel and we let in a silly goal away to Ludogorets. You qualify over six games and we have not been good enough.”
Gerrard continued: “We need to get our main striker Daniel Sturridge back and get some more goals in the side. We need to get Mario Balotelli back and firing. That is not to take away anything from the lads who have played tonight and have slogged their guts out.
“Rickie Lambert has ran himself into the ground tonight, but it has just been a game too far tonight and that has been because of a lack of numbers.”
On the sending off, Gerrard added: “I have not seen the sending off, but I have heard it was harsh. It made it harder because we could have made it hell for Basel in the final stages with 11 men.”