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Lack of flair cost us, says Kenny Dalglish

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish
Dalglish's side face a struggle to qualify for Europe next season

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish lamented a lack of creativity after his side went out of the Europa League to Braga.

Braga held the Reds to a goalless draw at Anfield after winning the first leg 1-0 in Portugal.

"You need to be really strong creatively if you are going to break down a very organised side or you need a bit of luck," said Dalglish.

"Like every other team in the world we could do with a bit more creativity but we are no different than anyone else."

Liverpool rarely appeared capable of breaking down a Braga side who held on to the advantage given to them by an Alan penalty in the first leg.

Reds striker Andy Carroll, making his full debut for the club, had the best chances for the Merseysiders as he twice headed wide before a late goalbound header was inadvertently blocked by team-mate Dirk Kuyt.

Overall, we are pleased to see him back on the pitch and we were not disappointed with his contribution in any way

Dalglish on Carroll

"Over the two legs a penalty has separated the two teams. There wasn't much between either side," added Dalglish.

"They were very well organised and we knew the responsibility was on us to break them down and score a goal.

"If Andy's header had gone in in the first half it could have been a different outcome but we never put anything past the goalkeeper."

Carroll played the whole game as he made his first start since playing for former club Newcastle on 28 December and Dalglish was pleased with his contribution.

"Carroll stayed on longer than we hoped he would have to stay on but necessity meant he had to stay on the pitch because we were looking for a goal," stated the Reds manager.

"Overall, we are pleased to see him back on the pitch and we were not disappointed with his contribution in any way.

"It was a bit unfortunate he did not score a goal; he put one header wide in the first half and then had one stopped by Dirk Kuyt in the second.

"Considering it was his first start I think he can be very pleased with how he played."

Liverpool face the prospect of failing to qualify for Europe next season, with their last failure to do so coming after they finished seventh in 1999.

They need to finish fifth in the Premier League to qualify for next season's Europa League but are sixth and six points adrift of a Tottenham side who have a game in hand.

"It was an option for us to get back into Europe next year if we'd won it [Europa League]," commented Dalglish.

"We know that in every league game we will have to try and get as much as we possibly can. We were going to do that anyway, so I don't know if it will be a blessing or not [being out of the Europa League]."

Braga coach Domingos Paciencia was overjoyed at his side's exploits as they reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

"We have reasons to be proud," he said. "We achieved a different level that we have never achieved before.

"I ask Liverpool supporters to appreciate the way we celebrated the way we did because this is a different level.

"Don't take things the wrong way for the way we celebrated. We are proud."

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see also
Liverpool 0-0 Braga (agg 0-1)
17 Mar 11 |  Europe
Europa League as it happened
17 Mar 11 |  Football
Thursday's football photos
17 Mar 11 |  Football

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