Liverpool morning news, Rodgers identifies key to exit, offers 'no excuses'

A selection of the latest stories involving Liverpool Football Club this Wednesday morning.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers identified the loss to Basel in Switzerland as the key game that led to the club's exit from this season's Champions League.

The Reds drew 1-1 with Basel last night as they came agonisingly close to turning the game around, where a win would've seen them through to the knockout stages of the competition, but instead Liverpool will enter the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Rodgers told reporters after the game: "The big game for us was away in Basel, where we were disappointing, didn't perform well, conceded a poor goal and lost out there. We can have no complaints. If you deserve to go through and get the points, then you go through.

"We've been out [of the Champions League] for a long time and we came into it this year with excitement and we obviously wanted to do well. We really wanted to qualify and we weren't good enough, it's as simple as that."

Steven Gerrard, whose strike set up a grandstand finish at Anfield, also offered no excuses, citing similar reasons to the Liverpool manager for the club's exit - though the reds felt hard done by with the sending off of Lazar Markovic 15 minutes into the second half.

He is now determined to get more goals into the side when Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli return to fitness.

He's quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: "What's crucial is that we try and get our main striker back who is capable of getting us the goals to get us into the top four.

"We need to try and get Mario Balotelli back firing as well. If we can get goals in the team it gives us a better chance, but at the moment it's a bit of a roller coaster, it's tough."

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