players are dejected
LFC Official Website
Gerard Houllier said he and his players were totally
dejected following the UEFA Cup exit at the hands of Celtic, but said he
was proud of his team's efforts throughout the 90 minutes.
Houllier said he couldn't ask for any more in terms of effort and
commitment from his players, and said the goal on the stroke of half time
was the turning point.
Houllier said: "I'm like the players, I'm hurt but that's football. We had
three good chances in the first half and didn't take them.
"The goal came at a worst time for us and was the turning point in the
match. Celtic are very clever and very functional and credit to them, and
I hope they go on and win the UEFA Cup.
"I was pleased with the response of the players in the second half. In
terms of effort you can't ask for any more than that.
"I enjoyed the game and thought it was a fantastic game of football. The
players put in a remarkable effort. Maybe we pushed too much in the second
half in terms of build up, but they are young players who will only get
Reds bow out of Europe
Celtic celebrated a 3-1 aggregate win over Liverpool after
an impressive 2-0 success at Anfield in their Uefa Cup quarter-final
The Hoops showed they were more than a match for the Premiership club with
a superb all-round performance.
A first-half free-kick from Alan Thompson and a late stunner by John
Hartson did the damage to Liverpool.
Without the injured Chris Sutton there was a place in Celtic's engine room
for skipper Paul Lambert, and it provided that extra dimension in terms of
genuine midfield running and tackling.
Although Celtic were not able to mount the dramatic siege they produced in
the opening minutes of last week's 1-1 draw, they certainly troubled
Liverpool early on with Thompson, Henrik Larsson and Hartson all going
close inside the first 20 minutes.
At the other end Vladimir Smicer - in for the suspended El Hadji Diouf -
almost created a close-range chance for Michael Owen, but Johan Mjallby
managed to clear.
Robert Douglas saved a 20-yard Steven Gerrard piledriver and close-range
Emile Heskey header, before the latter spun on an Owen cross and fired
wide of the far post.
But it was the Scottish champions who took the lead a minute into
first-half stoppage time.
Djimi Traore was judged to have held Larsson some 25 yards out and from
the free-kick Thompson drilled the ball through the wall and just inside
Jerzy Dudek's left hand post.
The second half was closely contested but it was Hartson who clinched
victory for the visitors with a stunning goal.
The former Arsenal star played a neat one-two before firing the ball into
the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.