Liverpool slip up against Ludogorets is ‘irrelevant’ – Rodgers

The Reds led their Bulgarian opponents for most of the Champions League encounter before a late concession but would have needed to beat Basel in their final game either way

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool’s last-gasp slip to a draw with Ludogorets in the Champions League is “irrelevant”, insisting he is satisfied with their performance overall.

A last-gasp Georgi Terziev leveller meant that the Reds suffered the ignominy of being held by their low-ranked opponents in the Group B contest.

Yet Rodgers, who saw goals from Rickie Lambert and Jordan Henderson put the visitors ahead after Dani Abalo had capitalised on Simon Mignolet’s error to give Ludogorets a third-minute lead, was unperturbed.

The setback did not change the fact that Liverpool can reach the last 16 by overcoming Basel at home in matchday six – something from which he took heart.

Rodgers told Sky Sports: “To go a goal behind in this competition so early, you need a team that is together and has spirit.

“We are disappointed with the goal at the end but it’s irrelevant now. We need to win against Basel anyway and we looked at that game at the start of the tournament as the crucial one.”

Liverpool headed into the match on the back of a four-game losing run and, far from being frustrated by seeing his side fail to win again, Rodgers praised their fighting spirit.

He added: “I was worried when we went behind and it was a poor goal to give away but we showed wonderful resilience and kept our focus.”

Rodgers withdrew Raheem Sterling, who had just missed a glorious chance to make it 3-1, late in the game, explaining that it was due to illness.

“He had a bad stomach and was buckled over in pain for six or seven minutes,” the Northern Irishman revealed.

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