Steven Gerrard’s late free-kick was not enough to send the Reds through, and they fall into the Europa League after an unsuccessful campaign.
They were not aided on their task with the number of injuries suffered by the side, and, when Rickie Lambert was substituted at half-time, the side were left without a recognisable striker on the pitch whilst searching for two goals.
Head coach Brendan Rodgers admitted after the game that his team did not deserve to go through, and, in reality, Basel should really have scored three or four more goals with the number of chances they created. Liverpool started the game without any of the urgency expected of them, and they never truly looked like progressing to the knock-out stages of the premier European competition.
While Rodgers admitted that his side did not deserve to qualify, former Reds coach Roy Evans believes that the Northern Irish manager should take the blame for overthinking the game rather than focusing upon sending his team out to claim a hard-fought victory.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Evans - who spent over 20 years at Anfield - said: “The way we approached the game was a bit negative for me. We started the game - a game we needed to win – with a really low tempo. We didn’t put them under pressure and I’m thinking, ‘go for them’.
“If you need to win, why not put them under pressure from the word go? We waited until we were down to ten men with 20 minutes to go and then we throw everything at them. We nearly got there but why not do it from the start? That’s the only gripe I’ve got.
“You can be too tactical, you can over think the whole thing. Sometimes you need to think, ‘OK, we need to win this one game, go out and go for it’.”
Regardless of his poor tactical choices, and the ever falling odds on Rodgers losing his job, Evans believes that the fans must give him time considering the unfortunate circumstances he is currently enduring on Merseyside.
“I don’t think it starts putting the pressure on Brendan again. The fans have got to have some realisation of how things work.
“We had a great season last season and we deserved to be in the Champions League, but we have lost our two best strikers and we can’t seem to [cope without them].”