Reds confront harsh reality

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Captain Steven Gerrard admitted Liverpool had simply not been good enough as their disastrous Champions League campaign ended with another defeat.

The five-time European champions are now heading for the Europa League after going down 2-1 at Anfield against Group E winners Fiorentina.

Gerrard said: "We're disappointed as a club because we want to stay in the big competitions. We've not been good enough, it's as simple as that."

Liverpool were ahead at the break through Yossi Benayoun but an equaliser from Martin Jorgensen and a winner in the second minute of injury time from Alberto Gilardino left the Reds defeated and with their lowest ever tally of points from a group stage.

Liverpool have now won only three of their last 14 games in all competitions, and their fans have not seen them win at Anfield since October 25.

The only bright spots for Liverpool were the full debut of £20million midfielder Alberto Aquilani and the return from injury of Fernando Torres.

Liverpool skipper Gerrard was impressed with Aquilani but he is aware even the Italian's display will not wipe away the memory of another night of European misery.

"He did well," said Gerrard. "It's going to take him some time to get up to speed in terms of match fitness but the boy's a player, there's no doubt about that. He can see a pass, he's on the same wavelength and he will turn into a fantastic player for this club."

He added: "I thought we gave a good account of ourselves. We knew there wasn't too much riding on the game but we went out with a lot of changes to our side and had a go.

"In the end we made mistakes and conceded goals but I thought we were unlucky to lose."

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Europa League
European News
Yossi Benayoun
Premier League
Fernando Torres
UEFA Champions League
Steven Gerrard

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