Downing: Lapse in focus cost Reds

Liverpool's Stewart Downing believes his team cannot afford a repeat of their disappointing performance in their 2-3 Europa League loss to Udinese.

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Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey had given Liverpool the lead on the 23rd minute when he got on the end of Downing's cross. However, their Serie A opponents levelled the score moments into the second half, before the Reds were stunned by a quick double salvo just past the 70th minute mark. Brendan Rodgers' men dominated the game for the most part but still failed to nick the victory off Udinese despite Luis Suarez's consolation goal. 

Speaking to the club's official website, Downing expressed his frustration at losing the game and admitted that Liverpool only had themselves to blame.

"I thought we were in control of the game for long periods. The manager stressed to us at half-time that we had to come out of the blocks quickly in the second half but we didn't. We were sloppy and let them back into the game," he stated.

"It was a little bit like the story of our season so far. We've dominated a lot of games, but missing chances and a few lapses in concentration are letting teams in. As I said, the manager stressed that at half-time, but within a minute [of the re-start] we'd let them in. It's something we need to work on."

Although team-mate Joe Allen echoed Downing's sentiments, the Welshman urged supporters to keep in mind the progress the squad have shown so far.

Watch: Udinese defeat Liverpool 3-2... More Videos

"If you look at the game, there certainly were positives to take - it was just the cheap goals we gave away that is probably our one and only disappointment. It's difficult to enjoy a match when you come off with nothing. We'll try to come away and look at the positives - and I think there were some fantastic individual performances and good elements to the team performance," Allen remarked.

"In the first half, and in the game at the weekend away to Norwich, I think you can see that everybody is taking to the style and the performance level has been really high. We're all looking forward to some fantastic results, which will come I'm sure."

Liverpool welcome Stoke to Anfield for their Premier League fixture this Sunday.

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