BRENDAN RODGERS admitted he was frustrated at Liverpool’s inability to close out matches after the Reds were held to a 2-2 draw by Young Boys in the Europa League at Anfield.
An 88th-minute strike from Elsad Zverotic gave the Swiss side a 2-2 draw, and means Liverpool must now beat Udinese away from home in a fortnight’s time to guarantee their passage to the knockout stages.
Rodgers had seen his side twice take the lead, through Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Cole, but said his players should have seen the game through.
“It was very frustrating,” he said. “Obviously we were leading twice in the game, and we missed a hatful of chances as well. So to concede the goal like we did at the end was very disappointing.
“We’re disappointed. To get 2-1 up with three or four minutes to go, you’ve got to control the game. You’ve got to have better game management. That was the real disappointment.
“It’s about management of the game. You don’t need to commit so many bodies forward so late in the game. That’s something we can improve upon.”
Rodgers had named an experimental starting 11, with Shelvey pressed into action as a makeshift centre forward, and Cole offered another chance to shine. And the Ulsterman felt his side performed well for large parts, offering particular praise for his two goalscorers.
He said: “We’ve got four games in 10 days, so I wanted to map things out and make sure everyone was as fresh as they possibly could be.
“We’re trying to navigate our way through this tournament with a thin squad, and I thought we showed good strength and good quality tonight.
“I thought young Jonjo in that false nine role did extremely well. He was causing them a problem just floating in between their lines, and opening up spaces centrally for others to go in. He scored one in the first half and maybe could have had three with his movement.
“Joe Cole gave everything. He’s still not 100 per cent, but he certainly was much better in the offensive part of his game.
“He was clever in his movement. That’s the nature of the guys at the top end of the field, they have to create goals and score goals. Both Joe and Jonjo did that.”
Rodgers hopes the injury sustained by defender Andre Wisdom, which forced his substitution early in the match, is not too serious. “He got a nick on the knee,” he said. “But hopefully he will be fine.”