Gerrard slams CL performance
Steven Gerrard described his side's Champions League performance as "not good enough" after Liverpool were beaten 2-1 by Fiorentina
Last Updated: 16/12/09 8:51am
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard gave a frank assessment of his side's UEFA Champions League performance after they were beaten 2-1 by Fiorentina at Anfield.
The Reds were already condemned to the obscurity of the Europa League prior to the match and were guaranteed to finish third in Group E.
But that did not stop Fiorentina from heaping more misery on Rafa Benitez's side, who picked up just seven points from six matches.
Yossi Benayoun looked to have lifted the gloom surrounding the club by putting his side into a first-half lead with a glancing header.
However, the Italians hit back in the second half, first levelling through Martin Jorgensen and then snatching a dramatic winner in injury time thanks to Alberto Gilardino's strike.
It concluded what has been a miserable European campaign for Liverpool, and Gerrard was forthright in his analysis of the Merseyside club's performance.
"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," he told Sky Sports 2.
"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."
There was some good news for Liverpool in the form of a rare appearance from summer-buy Alberto Aquilani.
The midfielder's time at Anfield has been dogged by injury rehabilitation but the Italian appears to be making a timely return to full fitness ahead of his side's clash with Arsenal at the weekend.
Benitez will have been boosted further by the return of striker Fernando Torres after a five-match absence, suggesting his charges are getting back to full strength.
Gerrard hailed the performance of Aquilani on a difficult night for his side and added that they will now go about winning the Europa League after their Champions League disappointment.
"He's done well," said Gerrard. "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.
"It's another cup to try to win. The final is at Hamburg, a fantastic stadium. We'll try to win it now."