Under-pressure Liverpool F.C. manager Brendan Rodgers said he always believed his side's Champions League...
Under-pressure Liverpool F.C. manager Brendan Rodgers said he always believed his side’s Champions League fate would come down to the last match at home to FC Basel and he has been proved right.
Liverpool conceded a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw away to Bulgarian side Ludogorets on Wednesday, leaving them with a paltry four points from five matches in Group B.
Yet victory over the Swiss side on Dec. 9 at Anfield will secure a place in the last 16 for Rodgers’ misfiring side.
“Of course we’re frustrated at the end because we had defended very well and at 2-1, it could have been three or four,” Rodgers, whose side languish in 12th place in the Premier League, told reporters.
“But we have come away with a point, while Real Madrid beat Basel.
“At the beginning of the competition, we said that it would probably come down to the last game and to have the last game at Anfield to win and qualify, I’ll take that.
“All you can ever ask for is your fate in your own hands, and that was the key thing for us tonight — to try to make that swing so that it is down to us.
“I’m happy to rely on us to play at Anfield in front of the supporters for the last qualification game.”
Liverpool were caught cold at Vasil Levski Stadium, going behind in the third minute when keeper Simon Mignolet failed to deal with an awkward bounce following Marcelinho’s long-range effort and Dani Abalo was on hand to tap in from close range.
Goals from Rickie Lambert and Jordan Henderson put five-times European champions Liverpool ahead but Georgi Terziev earned a deserved point for the hosts.
“We needed to come here and put on a performance that was going to allow us to have encouragement going forward, and also a result that would allow us to be in with a chance of qualification from the group – we have got both of them,” Rodgers said.
“The reaction to going behind early on was fantastic — you saw the real character of the team tonight.”