Brendan Rodgers critical of 'lazy' Liverpool following defeat to Udinese

 

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers accused his team of being “lazy” and warned their defending must improve after a 3-2 home defeat to Udinese.

The hosts had deservedly taken the lead in the first half of the Europa League Group A clash thanks to Jonjo Shelvey's 23rd-minute strike, but their opponents' captain and talisman Antonio Di Natale levelled in the opening minute of the second period, finishing a move that had started when Reds defender Glen Johnson lost possession.

Anfield was then left stunned as Sebastian Coates' 70th minute own-goal and Giovanni Pasquale's finish from Di Natale's tee-up two minutes later put the Italian side firmly in the driving seat.

Substitute Luis Suarez swiftly replied direct from a free-kick with 15 minutes to go, but it proved only a consolation.

Reflecting on Liverpool's display, Rodgers said: "We are disappointed with the result because for large periods of the game we were the better side, but we have to defend better.

"It was very frustrating.

"We lost our concentration at the beginning of the second half and I thought we'd moved on from that to be honest.

"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."

Rodgers had highlighted the threat posed by Di Natale in the build-up to the match and, when asked about the inspirational performance the 34-year-old had put in, the Liverpool manager said: "The guy has qualities, there is no getting away from it.

"It was a very good finish for the first goal. With the third I think we gave him a wee bit too much time, but he is a quality player.

"But I'll always only concentrate on my own players and where they can improve and be better.

"They give me and the team everything, but at critical moments of the game - in particular at the start of the second half - we needed to be solid and tight, and we gave away three goals."

Di Natale was back in the Udinese team after being axed from the squad for last weekend's Serie A draw with Genoa by coach Francesco Guidolin, his punishment following a dressing-room outburst.

Asked about Di Natale after the win at Anfield, Guidolin said: "We know he is a wonderful player, an outstanding player - I have said this time and time again.

"And in any case, this Di Natale issue is something we thought was over a while ago.

"What I really liked was my team's reaction in the second half. I tried to give my best during half-time in the dressing room to coax them along."

Liverpool stand third in Group A after two fixtures, on three points, one point behind Udinese and leaders Anzhi Makhachkala.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing