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Basel players celebrate as Liverpool look on dejected last night

Basel players celebrate as Liverpool look on dejected last night

Basel players celebrate as Liverpool look on dejected last night

Liverpool's Champions League challenge ended in a 1-1 draw against Basel, who booked their spot in the last 16 last night after withstanding a late fightback sparked by a stunning Steven Gerrard free kick.

Gerrard curled the ball into the top corner with eight minutes remaining at Anfield to cancel out Fabian Frei's rasping first-half drive, but the Premier League side, who had been reduced to 10 men following the second-half sending off of Lazar Markovic, could not find the crucial winner.

Barring their late flurry, it was a largely a dismal home performance from Liverpool who finished third in Group B on five points, two adrift of second place Basel.

Liverpool, whose poor season shows no sign of improving, will now drop into the Europa League.

"It was always going to be difficult with ten men," said Gerrard afterwards. "But if you're going to go out, go out with a fight. We just didn't have enough energy in the last ten minutes, with the red card.

"You always qualify over the six games and unfortunately, we haven't been good enough.

"It's a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment, it's tough because we're short of numbers."

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