Photo: Steven Gerrard praises Liverpool for ‘digging deep’

Photo: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is happy with three points after a nervy 2-1 victory over Ludogorets

Steven Gerrard praised Liverpool for “digging deep” after an edgy 2-1 victory over Ludogorets in their opening Champions League group stage game.

Ending their five-year absence from the competition, the Reds continued their uncharacteristic lethargic form from a surprise loss to Aston Villa on Saturday.

Mario Balotelli appeared to have scored an 82nd-minute winner to the relief of the home supporters, before Paulos Dani Abalo silenced the Kop with a late equaliser.

However, the Bulgarian champions couldn’t see out a famous draw with the five-time European winners as goalkeeper Milan Borjan brought down Javier Manquillo to allow Gerrard to net the winner.

“Tough game had to dig deep for the 3 PTS. Congrats to @mb459 for his first lfc goal,” Gerrard told Instagram.

In an interview with ITV Sport, Gerrard accepted that the Reds must improve ahead of their next Champions League Group B game against Basel.

“We did OK but it wasn’t better than OK. There’s a lot to learn, we were caused problems on the counter-attack,” Gerrard said.

Gerrard added: “If we win in Basel now it puts us in a good position but we must do better.”

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