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Liverpool FC midfielder Jordan Henderson told UEFA.com that his side "definitely deserved" to beat already-eliminated Udinese Calcio after scoring the only goal of the game at the Friuli Stadium in a victory that allowed the English side to go through as Group A winners. The lead was always narrow and late on Udinese went close with Joe Allen admitting "our heart was in our mouth". However, the fact that the visitors did not score more was down to their former goalkeeper Daniele Padelli who said: "It was very emotional facing Liverpool."
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool midfielder
We knew we had to come here and win tonight. Udinese made it difficult for us. Overall, we have got to be pleased with the way we played and we are top of the group as well so we are delighted with that. [Antonio Di Natale] had a good chance to equalise and we were a bit fortunate with that ball but in the end we definitely deserved to win so we are happy. We knew they would make it difficult for us and would be up for it as they were at home.
We are not going to look ahead to the draw, we are going to concentrate on the next game on Sunday at West Ham. It's definitely very important to qualify for the Europa League and to go through to the next round. We are delighted to do so, we just have to carry on and we look forward to it.
Joe Allen, Liverpool midfielder
It was very important to qualify. We knew it was going to be a tough ask to come away from home against a top team like Udinese and get three points but we were confident and believed we had the players and the team to do that. It's going to be a tough draw no matter who we come up against. There have been some great teams in this competition, some of them have been knocked out, some have gone through.
We will be keeping an eye on who we get but we are confident being in the next round. Our focus tonight was only on getting through but we are also top of the group which is a nice bonus. Our heart was in our mouth at that stage [when Antonio Di Natale went close]. Until then we looked comfortable, we didn't quite get the second goal but when Di Natale went through on goal we were worried that we would lose our lead.
Daniele Padelli, Udinese goalkeeper
I'm very happy on a personal level even if unfortunately the result was not good for us. We knew it would be a difficult game because Liverpool are very strong and only a win would ensure them of qualification. It was very emotional to face my former team and prove to them that I can do well. The most difficult save was the one from [Luis] Suárez when he dribbled past Danilo and shot with the outside of his foot. It was important for me to play, but more so to play well. I wanted to show that I was fully ready and that I could give confidence to the whole defence and I think I managed to do that.
We knew it was a difficult group, almost like a Champions League group. We gave everything to qualify but unfortunately the two games against Young Boys cut our chances off. We knew it was difficult, we did not manage but we really gave everything.
Diego Fabbrini, Udinese forward
Udinese can say goodbye to Europe with our heads held high. Liverpool are a very strong side but we gave them a fight and also created some good opportunities to equalise. We are a bit sad about the result but I think the performance was good overall. Now we have to focus on one game at a time and avoid relegation from Serie A. We have to achieve that as quickly as possible before thinking about anything else.
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