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Moreno thanks Reds scorers, Ludogorets reflect

Alberto Moreno hailed scorers Mario Balotelli and Steven Gerrard after Liverpool FC's dramatic 2-1 win over disappointed but not disheartened PFC Ludogorets Razgrad.

Mario Balotelli celebrates after breaking the deadlock
Mario Balotelli celebrates after breaking the deadlock ©AFP/Getty Images

"It was a bit of a nasty ending," says Alberto Moreno after Liverpool's dramatic win
Brendan Rodgers has mixed feeling after nearly blowing it against debutants Ludogorets
Cosmin Moți admits the loss was painful and feels they should have drawn – but enjoyed it
Georgi Dermendzhiev says it was "bitter" but "I am not feeling unlucky or mad about it"

Alberto Moreno, Liverpool defender
Well, it was a tough game, a complicated game, we were up against a very strong Ludogorets and the truth is we knew there was no guarantee of the three points and that we were going to have to do a good job. You could see we gave everything and did all we could to get the three points.

It was a bit of a nasty ending. You suffer inside although on the outside you feel really happy. The team did a good job and when you lose it in the last few minutes with the equaliser but then get a goal in your favour, it's a great delight, especially for the job the team did. It was a hard game and we're happy with the three points.

Mario [Balotelli] is physically fearsome. He can hold the ball up and help us when we are under pressure at the back and can release the ball; this gives us something extra and then in the penalty box you saw the one chance he had, he took it. For opposition defences it is hard when you're up against Mario Balotelli. I am delighted for him and his goal. Now we have to keep it going.

[Gerrard] got a bit nervous didn't he [laughs]! No, I don't have words for Steve, he's a great footballer, he's a special person, not just here but at a world level. Steven Gerrard is a great player, that is what we've always been told and for me I am proud to be playing with him. I hope that stays the case for years to come.

Jordan Henderson, Liverpool midfielder
We dominated the game though it didn't go all our way and they counterattacked well at times. It was a great finish by Mario and at 1-0 we need to see the game out; unfortunately we didn't do that. We were really disappointed but we kept going and Javi [Manquillo] did brilliantly for the goal to get in there in front of the keeper and get the penalty and it's a good pen from Steve. I am sure that will prove to be a big three points.

Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool manager
It is a competition that is about winning, and winning games. And sometimes you'll play well and maybe not get a result, but for us it was very important to be back in the competition. It was always going to be a tricky tie for us because they are champions of their country and there are not too many bad teams in this competition. Technically, they were very good and we had to show patience.

Obviously Mario gets a great goal, but I'm disappointed with the equaliser, as the team are – we've got to see that out. But we showed the resilience and the character that's in this group, and roared on by the supporters it was great for us. It's a brilliant victory for us in terms of the points and the character. This is a tournament which is about winning games – and we've won our first game.

We could do no more than win tonight. We're not at a standard we were last season, that's for sure. We've got a lot of adaptation going on with new players coming in. They fit the profile of how we work but we're still a new team, still a work in progress. Once we do that, it is important that we can win games and win in the Champions League.

Cosmin Moți, Ludogorets defender
It is hard to lose in the 93rd minute but I am happy that we played well and had a good game. It is painful to lose in the 93rd minute but we finally realised how it is in the Champions League and we hope in the next game to repair out mistakes and try to do things better. If not the result, this game gives us confidence that we can have some great games.

In my opinion I think a draw was the right result because even at 0-0 we had two opportunities to score and I believe if we scored the first, it would have been a different game.

[The atmosphere] is very nice, you realise when you arrive at these stadiums that you play with the best teams in the world. It is a nice feeling and I hope to play many, many games in this competition.

Milan Borjan celebrates Ludogorets' equaliser
Milan Borjan celebrates Ludogorets' equaliser©Getty Images

Younes Hamza, Ludogorets forward
We played a very good game and deserved at least a draw but we didn't have the luck in the final minutes with the penalty. I hope in the next game we can concentrate better and get some points. I am proud to have played the pass for [Dani Abalo] to score the goal but it should have been a draw.

Georgi Dermendzhiev, Ludogorets coach
This is football. It is, of course, a bit bitter for us because of the result but I am not feeling unlucky or mad about it.

The goalkeeper was upset after the mistake [conceding the decisive penalty]. That's a natural thing, but we are a very good team, we have a very good team spirit, and after the game his new team-mates and I said that it is not a big mistake and everything's fine, everything will be alright in the future. I am not blaming the goalkeeper, I am not annoyed or disappointed with him. This is a decision that has to be made in the moment, so there is nothing to attach blame to.

We analysed Liverpool's game a lot. Our idea was to play safe at the back and give them the smallest chance of scoring a goal, and then to make attacks that would count, create as many chances as possible. The atmosphere was incredible and the fans supported the team throughout the whole match.