Rodgers: We weren't good enough

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers accepts the seeds of his side’s Champions League exit were sown in October with defeat to main rivals Basle.

Rodgers: We weren't good enough

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers accepts the seeds of his side’s Champions League exit were sown in October with defeat to main rivals Basle.

A 1-1 draw against the Swiss in a must-win encounter at Anfield confirmed their drop into the Europa League in the new year and it was their record against the teams they were expected to beat which cost them.

Real Madrid swept through Group B with six successive victories but had Liverpool done better against Basle and Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets, having taken just five points and scored five goals from those matches, their fate would have been different.

“We are obviously disappointed. We can’t have any excuses about not qualifying. We had enough games,” said Rodgers.

“The big game was away in Basle where we were disappointing. We conceded a poor goal and lost.

“If you deserve to go through, you get the points and you go through. For us it is simple, we haven’t been good enough over the course of the competition to go through.”

Captain Steven Gerrard, who 10 years and a day after scoring the goal which saw Liverpool scrape through against Olympiacos on their way to a fifth European Cup, set up a grandstand finish with a trademark free-kick to cancel out Fabian Frei’s first-half opener.

However, the hosts, who had substitute Lazar Markovic sent off for flicking an arm in the face of Behrang Safari 15 minutes after coming on at half-time, produced too little too late.

“We haven’t gone out of the competition because of our performance on the night,” the captain told ITV1.

“We’ve gone out because away at Basle we weren’t good enough, in our last game (against Ludogorets) we conceded a stupid goal towards injury time. You always qualify over the six games and unfortunately we haven’t been good enough.”

Rodgers was unhappy with the dismissal, especially as Markovic had looked one of their brightest players, even if his side raised their game following the red card.

“I thought the sending off was really disappointing decision by the referee,” added the Reds boss.

“Lazar Markovic gets sent off for that, his fingernail barely touches the nose of the defender and the defender is the guy who should be looked at for his reaction.

“But we really took the fight to them with 10 men. In that final half hour we were outstanding. A lot of decisions were disappointing.”

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