LIVERPOOL FC face a stern test to go through to the last-16 after the Europa League loss against Zenit in St. Petersburg last night. Liverpool played well for 70 minutes and created enough chances to make the return leg more comfortable for themselves, but their inability to convert them coupled with goals from Hulk and Sergei Semak, turned a good away performance into misery.
The first goal was a brilliant strike, but Brendan Rodgers and his players will be disappointed with the way they conceded the second, by first allowing the cross and then failing to pick up the runner at the far post.
Captain Steven Gerrard was obviously disappointed after the game, but still believes the team can overcome the two goal deficit and progress to the next round of the knockout stages.
“We’re obviously down. On the back of two defeats, it’s a difficult moment but we need a reaction.
“We’ve got a big game in a couple of days against Swansea and we need to bounce back.
“Up until the 70th minute against Zenit, the game was under control. It was a tough night in tough conditions. We’re disappointed with the two sloppy goals we conceded, but the tie is not over.
“If anyone can pull it back, it’s us”, he said to LFC TV after the game.
Anfield has witnessed many a special European night under the flood lights over the years, and Gerrard hopes this will be another one:
“We’ll have an advantage with our supporters. If they can create the noise they’re capable of, get behind the team and we can get an early goal, it’s game on.
“But we are disappointed. It wasn’t the result we wanted – we wanted an away goal and to try and sneak away with a clean sheet, but if you concede sloppy goals, you get punished and that’s what happened.”