Champions League: Gerrard accuses Reds of lacking bottle after tame Basel defeat

Ross McLean
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BLUNT Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard accused his side of lacking the necessary fight and desire as their bid to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage stuttered against Swiss champions Basel last night.

St Jakob Park has been a graveyard for English clubs in recent years as Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea can testify, and Liverpool were added to the list courtesy of a second-half strike from Basel’s veteran skipper Marco Streller.

“We didn’t deserve anything out of the game,” said Gerrard. “I thought we were too soft all over the pitch and I thought they wanted it more.

“It hurts to say that but it’s true. We wanted something out of this game, at least a draw. We came for the win though and I expected the win so it’s very disappointing.”

Basel opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when Streller pounced inside the six-yard box to lash the ball past keeper Simon Mignolet, who had clawed away Martin Skrtel’s backward header from Taulant Xhaka’s corner.

Liverpool’s best chance fell to Raheem Sterling with 15 minutes remaining only for the opportunity to disappear when he mis-controlled.