Liverpool FC manager hails “season-changing performance” after 2-2 draw
Brendan Rodgers points to the character shown by his Liverpool team in Bulgaria
November 27th, 2014
Victory against Basel in their last Champions League group game and Liverpool will be into the last sixteen of the competition, with the Reds coming narrowly close to three points against Ludogorets.
As it turned out, a 2-2 draw still means that qualification is in the hands of the Merseyside outfit, with Rickie Lambert and Jordan Henderson scoring in Sofia to turn the game on its head before a late Ludogorets equaliser denied Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers has come under fierce criticism in the past few days, although the Liverpool manager was full of praise for his team’s performance and now hopes the Reds can produce a winning performance against Basel.
“To go a goal behind so early on, you really need a team that is together and I think the character of the team came out,” Rodgers said. “We spoke before the game that this needs to be the night to change our season and for that we needed to show the character in our team. We are disappointed with the goal we conceded in the end but it is irrelevant, we need to beat Basel in the final game.
“The pitch was difficult for outfield players and goalkeepers, it was very bobbly, especially around the box. Thankfully it didn’t cost us overall and the players showed great character to come back.
“It was very frustrating at the end but we needed to come and put on a performance to encourage us going forward and one that gave us a chance of qualifying from the group and we had both of them,” he said.
“The reaction to going behind was fantastic and we saw the real character of the team. We fell behind to a team that has been really strong at home in the Champions League and showed real spirit to come from behind. Of course, it is frustrating at the end because we had defended so well.
“It could have been three- or four-one but I said at the start that this group would come down to the last game. To have the last game at Anfield, in front of our own supporters, needing to win: I would have taken that at the start.”