STEVEN GERRARD admits Liverpool must be more ruthless after labouring to a narrow Europa League victory.

A David Ngog header nine minutes from time earned Rafael Benitez’s side a 1-0 home victory over Unirea Urziceni in the first leg of their round of 32 tie last night.

Despite enjoying most of the possession, Liverpool struggled to break down the obdurate defence of the Romanian champions.

And Gerrard has urged the Anfield outfit to make the most of what he anticipates as a greater number of chances when they visit Bucharest for the return encounter next Thursday.

“They were very stubborn opponents but we expected that,” said the Liverpool skipper. “Their manager set up a team against us not so long ago who were very difficult to beat and hard to break down.

“Maybe we need to be more clinical but I think we will get more joy against them away from home. They will have to come out and try to beat us and hopefully we will take advantage and kill them off.

“Maybe we lacked five to 10% in terms of being clinical but we were patient and the goal came. We deserved it.

“This is going to be a tough competition to win. There are some fantastic teams from the Champions League with clubs like Ajax, Juventus and Valencia involved.

“They are top teams but we are confident we can go all the way. We believe we will win more convincingly against them away from home.”

Benitez accepted his team had enough opportunities to ensure a convincing victory, but pointed to a possible penalty in the closing moments when Javier Mascherano appeared to be felled by Unirea left-back Pablo Brandan.

“We could have scored one or two more goals,” said the Liverpool manager. “But the other team did well in defence so 1-0 and a clean sheet is not bad. It’s not the best result, but it is good.

“Sometimes you know that when the other team is defending well, you have to be patient and keep the ball and maybe score at the end. We could have had a penalty too, but I haven’t seen the replays.

“We started the game really well and the fans were behind the players and I was really pleased for a while. But then Unirea were deep and we didn’t have some chances for a period. But then in the second half we did better in attack.

Read the article on Liverpool Daily Post

We have got to be more ruthless, insists Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard after narrow Europa League win over Unirea

STEVEN GERRARD admits Liverpool must be more ruthless after labouring to a narrow Europa League victory.

A David Ngog header nine minutes from time earned Rafael Benitez’s side a 1-0 home victory over Unirea Urziceni in the first leg of their round of 32 tie last night.

Despite enjoying most of the possession, Liverpool struggled to break down the obdurate defence of the Romanian champions.

And Gerrard has urged the Anfield outfit to make the most of what he anticipates as a greater number of chances when they visit Bucharest for the return encounter next Thursday.

“They were very stubborn opponents but we expected that,” said the Liverpool skipper. “Their manager set up a team against us not so long ago who were very difficult to beat and hard to break down.

“Maybe we need to be more clinical but I think we will get more joy against them away from home. They will have to come out and try to beat us and hopefully we will take advantage and kill them off.

“Maybe we lacked five to 10% in terms of being clinical but we were patient and the goal came. We deserved it.

“This is going to be a tough competition to win. There are some fantastic teams from the Champions League with clubs like Ajax, Juventus and Valencia involved.

“They are top teams but we are confident we can go all the way. We believe we will win more convincingly against them away from home.”

Benitez accepted his team had enough opportunities to ensure a convincing victory, but pointed to a possible penalty in the closing moments when Javier Mascherano appeared to be felled by Unirea left-back Pablo Brandan.

“We could have scored one or two more goals,” said the Liverpool manager. “But the other team did well in defence so 1-0 and a clean sheet is not bad. It’s not the best result, but it is good.

“Sometimes you know that when the other team is defending well, you have to be patient and keep the ball and maybe score at the end. We could have had a penalty too, but I haven’t seen the replays.

“We started the game really well and the fans were behind the players and I was really pleased for a while. But then Unirea were deep and we didn’t have some chances for a period. But then in the second half we did better in attack.

Read the article on Liverpool Daily Post

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