Rodgers happy with a point

Published: Thursday 27th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he is more than happy to have their Champions League fate in their own hands despite a disappointing 2-2 draw against Ludogorets.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet’s blunder allowed Dani Abalo to score in the third minute but Rickie Lambert’s second in as many games and a Jordan Henderson strike turned things around before the break only for Georgi Terziev to nick an equaliser at the death.

The late goal meant little to the Reds’ requirements as they would still have had to beat Basle whatever the outcome on Wednesday night after the Swiss side lost to Real Madrid.

“We are frustrated but we needed to come here and put in a performance which would give us encouragement going forward and also to have a result which would allow us to still qualify from the group and we’ve had both of them,” he said.

“The reaction to going behind was magnificent. Of course we are frustrated because we had defended very well but we’ve come away with a point.

“It was always going to be a very close group. We have had a good result and should have won the game and now it is all in our hands and I can’t ask any more than that.

“I am happy to rely on us to play at Anfield in front of our own supporters in the final game.”

Rodgers refused to blame Mignolet for the opening goal despite the goalkeeper, who has been criticised all season for a series of unconvincing performances, fumbling a shot.

“It was disappointing for the team to go a goal behind so early on but thankfully it didn’t cost us,” he added.

“The pitch was difficult tonight for players and the goalkeepers and it was especially bobbly around the 18-yard box.

“The players showed character to come back and not let it affect them.”

Rodgers changed his set-up with Lucas Leiva recalled in central midfield, allowing Steven Gerrard to operate further forward and the manager believed it worked.

“I felt we needed more of a solid structure so we played two controlling players whose job was not to get ahead of the ball with Steven in front of that – so he has probably not run as much since 2009 and I thought he was excellent,” he said.

Ludogorets coach Georgi Dermendzhiev felt with a bit more luck his side could have won.

“We played very well and we could have scored more and won the game,” he said.

“There were parts of the game where we played equal to Liverpool and parts when we played better than them.”

Published: Thursday 27th November 2014 by The News Editor

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