Date: 27th February 2015 at 4:24pm
Written by:

Brendan Rodgers says failure to take first half opportunities proved costly, as the Reds crashed out of the Europa League to Besiktas on penalties.

Dejan Lovren missed the decisve spot kick, after Tolgay Arslan had forced the game to extra time and penalties with a superb goal on 72 minutes.

“I’m disappointed, of course, to go out in the manner we did,” said the Reds boss.

“I thought we created opportunities in the first half to make it really difficult for them.

“Up until they scored the goal we were quite comfortable in the game. Away from home the objective for us was to keep a clean sheet.

“We created chances in the first half. We were missing a lot of our creativity (with the absent players), but it’s no excuse.

“We had young players getting experience, we played with two strikers so it was an attacking line-up.

“Over the course of the game, we defended very, very well and limited them to very few chances.

“But the one mistake we made we got punished for when we were too deep for the moment they scored.”

Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Joe Allen all scored from the spot before Lovren’s decisive miss, however Rodgers insists all the players chosen were happy to take a penalty.

Rodgers said: “Dejan was happy taking a penalty.

“All five penalty takers wanted to take one and were confident. The four before that all scored, and we had experience in a cup competition shoot-out earlier this season (against Middlesbrough).

“I was happy with the penalty takers.

“Dejan offered. We are disappointed for him as he played very well in the game. Somebody had to miss and it just happened to be him.”