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Wednesday Kickoff: Liverpool ‘weren’t good enough’ to advance; Pele out of hospital; and more

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers


After five years away from the competition, Liverpool’s return to the Champions League has fizzled out before the start of the new year.

Liverpool were eliminated Tuesday with a 1-1 draw against Basel, who advanced due to the result. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted after the game that Basel deserved to go through, as his side had not done enough in recent weeks to earn a spot in the knockout stages.

“We are obviously disappointed,” the Liverpool manager said. “We had earned the right to be in the Champions League after a wonderful season last year but over the course of the games we weren’t good enough and didn’t get enough points. We can’t have any excuses about not qualifying. We had enough games.

“For us it is simple, we haven’t been good enough over the course of the competition. We are going to fight as hard as we can to make sure it is not another five years [before Liverpool return to the Champions League]. We are bitterly disappointed and we will fight very hard to make sure we are back in it next year.”

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Wednesday morning:


After recovering from a health scare, Pele has turned his sights towards his home nation’s next major competition.

The 74-year-old was recently released from the hospital after a 16 day stay due to an infection, but Pele revealed that he is now feeling recovered. In addition, the legendary forward admitted to his excitement for the 2016 Olympics, which will be hosted in his native Brazil.

“Thank God I’m well and recovered. I want to thank everyone who sent messages – I’ve been thrilled and surprised,” Pele said. “I’ve had messages from China, Pakistan, from almost all the European countries.

“It is gratifying and good to know that I had the support of so many people around the world who were hoping the situation improved. Now I am preparing for the Olympics!”


Unlike Liverpool, Juventus and Arsenal did enough to book spots in the next round.

The Italian side took care of business in a scoreless draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, while Arsenal topped Galatasaray, 4-1, to advance out of Group D.

In addition, Real Madrid cruised to the team’s 19th straight win Tuesday by overwhelming Ludogorets by a 4-0 scoreline.

Take a closer look at yesterday’s European results below:

Juventus 0-0 Atletico Madrid

Olympiakos 4 – 2 Malmo

Liverpool 1 – 1 Basel

Real Madrid 4 – 0 Ludogorets

Monaco 2 – 0 Zenit

Benfica 0 – 0 Bayer Leverkusen

Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Anderlecht

Galatasay 1 – 4 Arsenal


Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor has pulled out of Thursday’s Europa League matchup with Besiktas due to personal reasons. (REPORT)

Former Manchester United assistant Dave Phelan has criticized manager Louis van Gaal’s fitness regime in response to the team’s injury issues. (REPORT)

A Peruvian player has survived after being struck by lightning during a Copa Peru match. (REPORT)

How can Liverpool get back on track this season? Excited for next summer’s Olympics? What did you make of yesterday’s European results?

Share your thoughts below.


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