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Dalglish unhappy with Liverpool performance at Braga

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish
Dalglish was not happy with his side's first half performance

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was relieved his side escaped with a 1-0 defeat by Braga in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie.

Braga scored from an Alan penalty after Sotirios Krygiakos fouled Mossoro.

"Considering the way we played in the first half we are fortunate to come away with a 1-0," said Dalglish.

"You don't know if it is a good or bad result until the second leg is over but there is no-one [from our side] pleased with the performance or the result."

Liverpool looked a shadow of the side which beat Manchester United 3-1 last Sunday as they missed captain Steven Gerrard through injury, while striker Luis Suarez was ineligible.

"It was a very poor first-half performance from us and I have no complaints about the penalty," said the Reds boss.

We played better once he came on and he was a good option for us

Dalglish on Carroll

"We picked it up in the second half and looked a lot more threatening when Andy [Carroll] came on. It was easier to be happier with the second half than the first.

"But until next Thursday I won't be able to assess whether we have been fortunate or contributed to our own downfall by selection of passes, no movement - we were just a bit sloppy, really."

Striker Carroll made his first outing for the Reds since a £35m January move from Newcastle, coming on as a 74th-minute substitute against United after recovering from a lengthy thigh injury.

He came off the bench after 58 minutes against Braga and played a pivotal role in improving Liverpool's performance.

"We played better once he came on and he was a good option for us," said Dalglish.

"We have to give him as many minutes as we can to make sure he makes a contribution.

"That is a bit longer than he got on Sunday and we will continue to make a contribution towards his fitness."

Carroll seemed to be on the receiving end of an elbow from Kaka in injury-time and the Reds forward needed treatment.

Dalglish added: "I saw the two of them collide but I didn't see where he connected with Andy."

The return leg will be at Anfield on 17 March and, although Braga coach Domingos Paciencia was happy his side did not concede an away goal, he remains wary of Liverpool.

"We knew that it would not be easy and it was good we didn't concede because at this stage of the competition it is not easy," said Paciencia.

"I am optimistic but I know Liverpool are a big team, one of the teams who can win the competition so we have to be very careful."

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see also
Braga 1-0 Liverpool
10 Mar 11 |  Europe
Europa League as it happened
10 Mar 11 |  Football

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