Football

Rodgers "proud" despite Europa League exit

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Suarez brace not enough as Liverpool crash out. (©GettyImages)
Suarez brace not enough as Liverpool crash out. (©GettyImages).

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers hailed his team's scintillating performance against Zenit St Petersburg, despite crashing out of the Europa League.

Having come into the second leg tasked with over-turning a two-goal deficit with no away goals to aid their cause, the Merseyside club fell a goal short of making it into the next round, emerging 3-1 winners in the second leg.

A costly error from Jamie Carragher in the early stages allowed Hulk to open the scoring for the visitors, leaving the Reds with an uphill task of scoring four goals to qualify.

However, the Reds rallied from the setback, with Luis Suarez firing a sensational brace and Joe Allen getting on the scoresheet to set up a dramatic finish to the tie. 

The Russian outfit managed to hold on to their lead to claim the tie on the away goal rule with the aggregate score level at 3-3.

Having been dumped out of the competition, Rodgers was understandably proud of his side’s fighting spirit, and the way they turned the game on its head.

The Northern Irishman commended the efforts of his players and attributed their elimination from the contest to their poor first-leg result.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Rodgers said: "I'm very proud of the club and the players tonight.

"To come back from a three-goal deficit and put in that effort and quality and character into the game was just an absolutely phenomenal show.

"It was a fantastic night but unfortunately we probably lost the tie over there [in Russia]. 

"At this level to have to score that many goals and for us to nearly do it, it gives me great pride."

Rodgers refused to criticise Carragher for his individual error that lead to the opening goal, despite the veteran defender's error proving to be decisive.

"There's no blame," said Rodgers. "It's probably the first mistake I've seen him make since I've been at the football club and that includes every day in training."

 

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Topics:
Europa League
Football
Liverpool
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