Liverpool knocked out of Europe on away goals

Europa League Last 32 2nd Leg
Thursday 21 February 2013 - 8:05 pm
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⚽️ Suarez27'
⚽️ Allen42'
⚽️ Suarez58'
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Liverpool 3-1 Zenit St Petersburg

(3-3 agg - Zenit through on away goals)

Liverpool conceded first before hitting back with three strikes - but were knocked out of European competition on away goals.

Luis Suarez scores a free kick against Zenit St Petersburg

Luis Suarez fires in Liverpool's third in front of the Kop

Jamie Carragher's 150th, and final European appearance, ended on a low note after his mistake ensured Liverpool's task was made doubly difficult.  Two Luis Suarez free kicks sandwiched either side of a Joe Allen strike meant Liverpool won the game, drew on aggregate but lost the tie.

Jamie Carragher was recalled to the side in place of Martin Skrtel, and Rodgers picked Allen alongside Lucas, Henderson and Gerrard in an attempt to prevent the huge midfield gaps that were present in the first leg.

The game opened with a lot of Liverpool posession but chances were limited for either side.  The massive bulk of the Hulk appeared to be a constant presence on the shoulders of the two reds centre-backs, whilst at the other end Luis Suarez looked slightly isolated without his new strike partner (Sturridge being cup-tied).

Before the game Brendan Rodgers had highlighted the importance of Liverpool scoring first.  In the 19th minute this plan was shot to pieces.

Carragher was caught in two minds and attempted a feeble back pass to Reina.  Hulk powered on to the ball before sliding it past Reina in front of the Kop.

3-0 to Zenit.  Liverpool needed to score at least 4 to progress.

It was Daniel Agger who provided the reds first solid move towards goal in the 28th minute when he performed his trademark advance before being felled at the edge of the area.

Zenit delayed the free kick by moaning about the positioning, earning a yellow card in the process, but then Luis Suarez stepped up and smashed it straight through the wall to give the reds some hope.

Just before half time the reds got the perfect tonic.  A great 1-2 from Henderson and Enrique saw the Spaniard cross to the edge of the six yard box where Allen headed at the keeper.  The keeper parried and Allen poked home the rebound.  2-1 to LFC at half time.

Liverpool were denied what appeared to be a blatant handball before Suarez scored his second and Liverpool's third on the hour.

This free kick was a peach.  A beautiful curler befitting Liverpool's best player.

Immediately after the goal and with Liverpool in the ascendancy, Rodgers made a double substitution - taking off Henderson and Allen, and bringing on Shelvey and Assaidi.

Liverpool's final 30 minutes was not as good as our opening 60, and this change seemed to upset our rhythm.  Shelvey was pinpointed as one of the poorer players in the West Brom defeat, and failed to bring any energy to the last half an hour.

As time wore on the reds looked less likely to grab the 4th and the match ended 3-1.

Poor finishing in the first leg and poor defending helped Liverpool knock themselves out of this competition.

One year ago this week, Liverpool were heading to Wembley for the first of three appearances in as many months.  This season has turned out a lot differently.

Rodgers must now refocus the players attention on the rather more unexciting chase for finishing in the top six.

2 comments on
Liverpool knocked out of Europe on away goals

  1. Brenda has made serious errors in all three cup competitions. This could be forgiven if he had blazed a trail in the league.

    He’s got a tough job now in the rest of the season, but as it stands this season is looking like a massive step backwards from last year.

  2. We had a good go, but Carra’s mistake made the job near impossible. Disagreed with Rodgers decision to continue to make the subs after we scored our third.

    Sometimes managers need to react better to things that happen on the pitch.

    I think we had more chance of getting the 4th with Henderson and Allen on, than bringing Shelvey and Assaidi on. Shelvey’s form has really dipped – surprised he didn’t go out on loan.

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