Champions League: Rodgers relishing Liverpool's Euro decider

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers is leading his first Champions League campaign

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he is delighted his side remain in control of their Champions League destiny going into their final group game.

The Reds conceded a late equaliser at Bulgarian champions Ludogorets, but will still reach the last 16 if they beat Basel at Anfield next month.

"It is all in our hands going into last game - I can't ask any more than that," said Rodgers after the 2-2 draw.

"I'm happy to rely on us playing in front of our fans in the final game."

Liverpool are playing in the Champions League for the first time in five seasons after Rodgers led them to second place in the Premier League last term.

The Reds have earned just one win from their five matches in Group B, which also contains reigning European champions Real Madrid, but know they will join the Spanish side in the knockout phase with three points against Swiss champions Basel.

Mark Lawrenson on BBC Radio 5 live:
"The atmosphere for the players at Anfield against Basel will be absolutely fantastic. There's something about playing football at night anyway, under the floodlights - it feels completely different.
"But in those two minutes as you wait to go out on to pitch at Anfield that atmosphere is nothing but special. It's what you play football for."

Even if Ludogorets had not scored their late equaliser on Wednesday, Liverpool's task would have been exactly the same.

However, the draw extended their winless run to five matches in all competitions.

A poor start to the Premier League season has left Rodgers's team in 12th position after six defeats in their opening 12 games - the same number they lost in the whole of last season.

"In the Premier League we have not been good enough in our performances or consistency - that's my responsibility," said Rodgers.

"In the Champions League, it was always going to be a very close group and all the teams in there have showed they are good teams.

Ludogorets v Liverpool
Liverpool have conceded 29 goals in all competitions this season, including 13 from set pieces

"Thankfully we've had a good result against Ludogorets. We would have liked to win, we should have won, but didn't."

The Bulgarians led in the third minute after Reds keeper Simon Mignolet gifted an opener to Dani Abalo, before Rickie Lambert equalised with his first Champions League goal.

Jordan Henderson put the away side ahead before half-time, but they were denied victory when Georgi Terziev headed in with two minutes left.

"We showed wonderful character," said Rodgers. "If you go a goal behind in this competition you need great spirit and character of team.

"We were disappointed with the goal at the end but that's irrelevant."

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