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By ESPN Staff

Skipper Gerrard: Liverpool were ''not good enough''

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard reflected on his team's Champions League campaign and admitted it had been ''not good enough'' after the Reds' involvement in the competition finished with a 2-1 home defeat to Fiorentina.

• Liverpool 1-2 Fiorentina

Yossi Benayoun's glancing header gave his side the lead shortly before half-time only for Martin Jorgensen to equalise with a low left-footed shot in the 63rd minute and Alberto Gilardino to snatch a winner two minutes into added time.

Gerrard told Sky Sports 2: ''If you look at the whole campaign, it was not good enough from our point of view but now we need to try to qualify for the same competition next year.

''It wasn't our strongest team but we gave a good account of ourselves. We were a bit unlucky to lose in the end.

''There was not much in it as far as points were concerned. It was just about getting this game out of the way and trying to get good preparation for the game against Arsenal on Sunday.''

With the Reds having already failed to qualify for the knockout stages the only positives from a lacklustre encounter were a 76-minute run-out for Alberto Aquilani and the return from injury of striker Fernando Torres after a five-match absence.

Gerrard took heart from the performance of summer signing Aquilani. ''He's done well,'' said the skipper. ''It's going to take him a while until he gets up to speed as far as match fitness is concerned. But the boy's a player, there's no two ways about it. He sees a pass, he's on the same wavelength and I have no doubts he'll turn into a fantastic player for this club.''

On the prospect of playing in the Europa League, Gerrard added: ''It's another cup to try to win. The final is at Hamburg, a fantastic stadium. We'll try to win it now.''

Manager Rafael Benitez played down the prospect of his team not being seeded for the Europa League.

''We can't change this. We have to just play,'' he said. ''There are also some top sides in the Europa League so you have to accept this.''

On whether he would play his strongest team in the second-tier competition, he replied: ''We will try to win against Arsenal, and after we will see.''

Regarding this season's European exploits overall, Benitez admitted late slips had cost his side dear.

''We have conceded three goals in the Champions League in the last minutes,'' he said. ''When you are not winning, it's important not to lose. We could have played today for a different situation but we conceded these late goals.''


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