16 September 2014 23:23
Steven Gerrard wants Liverpool to improve in the UEFA Champions League after his late penalty secured a 2-1 win over Ludogorets on Tuesday.
The Liverpool captain stepped up to score the winner from 12 yards in the third minute of injury time in a hard-fought game at Anfield that marked the Merseyside club’s return to Europe’s premier club competition following a five-year absence.
Striker Mario Balotelli had given Brendan Rodgers’ men the lead in the 82nd minute with his first goal since joining from Milan last month, only for Spanish midfielder Dani Abalo to hit back in the 91st minute to seemingly seal an unlikely point for the Bulgarian minnows.
Gerrard, as he has done so often in the past, rescued Liverpool after Ludogorets goalkeeper Milan Borjan was adjudged to have brought down Javi Manquillo, but the 34-year-old midfielder was far from satisfied with his side’s performance.
“We did okay but it wasn’t better than okay,” Gerrard said.
“There’s a lot to learn, we were caused problems on the counter-attack.
“You have to give Mario Balotelli credit, it didn’t go his way for long periods, but the sign of a good goalscorer is to keep going and get a chance. What’s more important is his work rate.
“If we win in Basel [on October 1] now it puts us in a good position but we must do better.”