Carra hits out at Premier League

Image: Carragher: Disappointed

Jamie Carragher has hit out at the Premier League for jeopardising Liverpool's Europa League hopes.

Reds defender unhappy with fixture schedule

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has hit out at the Premier League for jeopardising their Europa League hopes. Carragher was unhappy the Reds were forced to play West Ham on Monday night just three days before their Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid. It was feared Liverpool's arduous trip to Madrid would leave Rafa Benitez's side weary for the clash with Atletico, but Carragher believes playing just 72 hours before the tie was their downfall as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the Vicente Calderon. "The worst thing for us was playing on Monday night," Carragher told the Liverpool Echo. "You hear all about the Premier League wanting English clubs to do well in Europe. "Well, we've just played Monday and Thursday. When Inter Milan are in the Champions League, they play on a Friday night; their league does everything to help them. "Playing on Monday night was a joke. That was more of a thing than all the travelling we did, which, really, wasn't that bad at all."

Optimistic

Carragher admits the Reds were below-par in Madrid, but he remains hopeful they can turn the tie around at Anfield next season. "We expected to play a bit better in Madrid but even though we lost 1-0 I think we'd take that," added Carragher. "We limited the damage and it is all still to play for. "We've definitely made it difficult for ourselves in the Europa League as we've always been behind going to Anfield but somehow we've always seemed to come through it. "It is not something we've planned on doing but after our last two trips it's something we've had to do and we know exactly what we need to do. "It will be a long 90 minutes and we have to be patient. The job is to put them under pressure, play at a high tempo and hopefully it will be enough. "It will be another great European night."

Around Sky