Brendan Rodgers delighted after victory over Udinese sees Liverpool progress

Reds win 1-0 in Italy

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his side took another significant step forward with qualification for the last 32 of the Europa League.

Jordan Henderson's first-half strike, his maiden European goal, against 10-man Udinese was enough for the Reds to top Group A.

However, it could have been a very different story had substitute Antonio di Natale scored with the last kick of the game, an equaliser being enough to send the Merseysiders out after Young Boys won 3-1 at home to Anzhi.

Now Rodgers is looking forward to concentrating on his side's league form for the next couple of months.

"We won and that is good for our future," Rodgers said. "We had two objectives coming into this stage of the tournament, our 10th game in the competition.

"Firstly, qualification was important and secondly, we wanted to give experience to some of younger players and we have done that.

"At the end, when they had 10 men on a difficult pitch, I thought our idea was better - control the game, pass and hide the ball - especially with young players in the side.

"This is the challenge we have to make them better players and educate them in the game whilst progressing and thankfully we've done that.

"It was always going to be a tight group and you can see how it finished (Liverpool, Anzhi and Young Boys all on 10 points), but I said to the players I always thought we could finish top."

There have been a few ups and downs along the way, but Rodgers believes Liverpool are starting to gather momentum both in Europe and domestically.

"I am absolutely delighted because they have been superb through the campaign and their league form is improving and it is really good for our momentum," he added.

"We could have been more comfortable, we had the opportunity to score goals in good areas and that was mostly down to great goalkeeping. I don't think the players could have done much more.

"There was no margin for error and I felt we had to win the game because we were in a difficult group against good teams.

"Over the course of all the games, how we have played and progressed through the tournament, I think we are deserved winners of the group.

"We can rest well, focus on the league and look forward to next February."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine