Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has come down heavily on the performance of his team during the Champions League group stages following their elimination at the hands of FC Basel on Tuesday night.

The Merseyside club were making their first appearance in Europe's elite competition since 2009 and it has come to a premature end following some poor performances against teams they were expected to beat.

Real Madrid have qualified as the group leaders, with Basel following them as runners up following the 1-1 draw at Anfield in the final group game.

Gerrard insists that it was not the final game that sealed their fate, but their performances away to the Swiss club and their previous encounter with Bulgarian side Ludogorets.

"We haven't gone out of the competition because of our performance tonight, we've gone out because away at Basel we weren't good enough, in our last game we conceded a stupid goal towards injury time," Gerrard said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"That is not to take away anything from the lads who have played tonight and have slogged their guts out. Rickie Lambert has ran himself into the ground tonight, but it has just been a game too far tonight and that has been because of a lack of numbers."

The former Three Lions captain believes that the team needed to perform consistently across the six games, which they did not manage, following back-to-back losses to Real Madrid.

Liverpool have struggled to score goals this season, following an injury to main striker Daniel Sturridge and summer arrivals Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert struggling for goals. The former is yet to justify his £16m price tag having scored just two goals for the Reds in all competitions thus far.

Gerrard is desperate for the return of the former Chelsea striker and is hoping that even the Italian forward will get back into form and start scoring some goals for the team.

"You always qualify over the six games and unfortunately we haven't been good enough. We need to get our main striker Daniel Sturridge back and get some more goals in the side. We need to get Mario Balotelli back and firing," the England midfielder added.