Liverpool 1 Hearts 1: We were a bit wasteful, admits Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool 1 Hearts 1: Brendan Rodgers says his side were wasteful after booking their place in the Europa League group stage draw
Brendan Rodgers admitted Liverpool were “wasteful” after the Reds beat Hearts 2-1 on aggregate to reach the Europa League group stage.
Pepe Reina spilled David Templeton’s effort to level the tie in the 85th minute at Anfield, but the Spaniard’s blushes were saved by Luis Suárez just two minutes later, when the Uruguayan out-paced Marius Zaliukas to finish from close range.
Rodgers admitted Liverpool had to work for their 1-1 draw but the Reds boss was pleased with the attitude and commitment of his side.
“We achieved our objective, which was to get through,” said Rodgers.
“They were two very tough games and were never going to be easy, but I thought the attitude and commitment of the players was excellent.
“We showed our spirit towards the end when we went behind. Steven Gerrard made an initial run to try and create an opportunity, the ball broke back and he ran 40-50 yards to regain possession again and set up the attack.
“If I’m being honest, I thought we were a little bit wasteful. We created chances and could have put the game to bed a lot earlier, but the most important thing was to get through and we did that.”
Rodgers reserved special praise for 18-year-old striker Adam Morgan, who made his first start for the senior team against the SPL outfit. The Reds boss was also pleased with the impact of second-half substitute Raheem Sterling.
“I felt it was only going to be a matter of time [before we scored],” he continued. “Adam Morgan did very well – a young, local boy getting his opportunity – and then when Raheem Sterling came on I thought he was dynamic and very impressive.
“From the way I was seeing it, it looked as though it was only a matter of time before we would get a goal. You’ve got to keep the faith. Teams come here and it’s a big motivation for them to play at Anfield. That’s when we’ve got to be patient and keep the faith.”