Kenny Dalglish accepts 'fortunate' Liverpool defeat

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The Independent Online

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes his side were lucky to leave Braga with only a 1-0 deficit from their Europa League last-16 first-leg tie.

A poor first half was compounded by Brazilian midfielder Alan's 17th-minute penalty after Sotirios Krygiakos fouled Mossoro.

Left-back Silvio crashed a 35-yard volley off the crossbar during that spell but the Reds recovered some of their composure after the interval to ensure they remain slight favourites when they return to Anfield next Thursday.

However, Dalglish admitted their task could have been much harder had they not pulled things together.

"Considering the way we played in the first half we are fortunate to come away with a 1-0 because when you play as badly as that you are grateful you lose 1-0," said the Scot.

"To only be 1-0 behind, considering the start we had, might be a bonus.

"To give the lads credit, they picked things up and raised the tempo and with a bit of luck we could have got an equaliser.

"You don't know if it is a good or bad result until the second leg is over but there is no-one in there who is pleased with the performance or the result.

"But until next Thursday I won't be able to assess whether we have been fortunate or contributed to our own downfall by our selection of passes and no movement - we were just a bit sloppy really."

The one bright spot was the European debut after injury of Andy Carroll, with the £35million January transfer soon displaying his aerial dominance as Braga struggled to cope with him.

Dalglish continued: "He is a good option for us. He is still trying to get himself fit but we know what his attributes are - he just needs a few more games to get himself toned up.

"But is it was quite evident he made quite a difference when he came on.

"He is good. He got a lot of the ball and made a good contribution to an improved performance.

"But we have to be patient and be responsible.

"We have got a week till the next game and we'll not depress ourselves too much but we will certainly go over it and sort out some of the problems.

"We will look to see where we can be better and we'll get better."



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