Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes the team are on a steep learning curve when it comes to the Champions League after a narrow escape in their first fixture of the season, ESPN
The Reds needed a late Gerrard penalty to beat Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets after conceding a late equaliser to Mario Balotelli’s opening goal. Gerrard was pleased with the win but called on the players to do better in their next European outing.
“It’s always nice to win the game when you think you’re going to drop two points and you get a decision like that at the end,” he said. “[The penalty] was the right decision, but on the game as a whole we did ok – we didn’t do any better than ok.
“We’ve got a lot to learn,” Gerrard admitted. “I thought they caused us quite a few problems, just like Aston Villa did, on the counter-attack, so me and the lads have got a lot to learn
“We go away to Basel now and if we get maximum points then it puts us in a very good position. At Liverpool, we always analyse what we’ve done and I think to judge that performance [tonight] is ‘must do better’.”
The match was Liverpool’s first in the Champions League since reaching the quarter-finals in the 2008-09 season and first European match of any kind since 2012-13, when they reached the Round of 32 in the Europa League.
As well as Ludogorets and Basel, Liverpool also play holders Real Madrid, who beat the Swiss champions 5-1 at Santiago Bernabeu.
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