Steven Gerrard has revealed his dismay after Liverpool's Champions League horror show in Florence which has thrown their quest to reach the knock-out stages into disarray.
Liverpool were soundly beaten 2-0 by Fiorentina in the Stadio Artemio Franchi after Stevan Jovetic's first-half double, and now face tricky back-to-back clashes with Group E leaders Lyon, who have won each of their two matches so far. Captain Gerrard accepted the criticism of Liverpool's abject performance, saying: "We just didn't turn up."
But he also remained optimistic, claiming: "We will be fine if we win our home games."
However, he knows that Liverpool are now under intense pressure of their own making. The Reds' display in Italy was made particularly surprising given that it came after six successive victories and much praise for the deluge of goals so far this campaign.
While Liverpool prepare to face French giants Lyon - at home on October 20 and away on November 4 - Fiorentina can expect to be winning their own back-to-back ties with Debrecen on those dates.
The Hungarian champions are already proving the whipping boys of the group, without a point or goal following two defeats. They lost 4-0 at home to Lyon on Tuesday night, and Fiorentina will be expected to win both their matches against a club in their first Champions League group campaign. That would give the Italians nine points, and leave Liverpool with it all to do against Lyon.
"We were disappointed to lose in Florence, we were second best all over the pitch and deserved to go in at the break losing," Gerrard said.
"The reaction was better in the second half and we created some chances, but we just could not get into the game. We did not do what we usually do away from home in Europe, there was no real tempo in our game.
"We normally play at a high tempo and pass the ball really well, and play well on the counter-attack. But all over the pitch, front to back, we just did not turn up, particularly in that first half.
"But I believe this group is still wide open, there's plenty of football to be played and we are now in the same position as Fiorentina with a win and a defeat, and they still have to face us at Anfield. If we win our next home game, and that's against the group leaders Lyon, things will be different. If we win our home games now that should still be enough, we'll be fine."
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