Rodgers unhappy at 'lazy' Reds

05 October 2012 06:48

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers accused his players of laziness after their 3-2 Europa League Group A defeat to Udinese at Anfield.

The Reds had gone 1-0 up in the first half thanks to Jonjo Shelvey's 23rd-minute strike, but the visitors' captain and talisman Antonio Di Natale levelled in the opening minute of the second period. The home crowd were then stunned as a Sebastian Coates own-goal and Giovanni Pasquale's 72nd-minute finish from Di Natale's tee-up put Udinese firmly in the driving seat.

Luis Suarez's swiftly replied with a delightful effort direct from a free-kick, but it proved only a consolation as the Italian side made off with all three points, leaving Rodgers fuming about his team's concentration levels. He said: "It was very frustrating."

"It was a game where I felt we were the much better side, but we lost our concentration at the beginning of the second half and I thought we'd moved on from that to be honest," Rodgers added.

"I thought we were just lazy - that is the easiest way to describe it. Just lazy in our play and loose and sloppy. It is as simple as that.

"In that opening period (of the second half) we didn't do what I call the dirty bit. In the first half we earned the right (to be in front) - we pressed the ball, got tight and then showed our quality with the ball.

"But at the beginning of the second half we didn't do that, and before we knew it, we were 3-1 behind."

He continued: "We had scored and had total control in the first half. There were a couple of little moments, but I thought some of our play was very good and we deservedly were in the lead.

"But then we were so loose at the beginning of the second half it was frightening and our concentration was very poor. Then before we knew it we were 3-1 down and chasing the game.

"The last 20 minutes were very good, but it was too late by then - you have got to be in control and make sure that your domination and quality keeps you in front. Unfortunately we didn't do that."

Source: PA