thumbnail Hello,

UEFA Europa League

  • November 22, 2012
  • • 3:05 PM
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: A. Yefet
  • • Attendance: 37180

Liverpool 2-2 Young Boys: Zverotic wonder goal halts Reds progression late on

Liverpool 2-2 Young Boys: Zverotic wonder goal halts Reds progression late on

Getty Images

The Reds had twice led through goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Cole, but must now wait until their final group stage game to seal Europa League progression

Liverpool's place in the Europa League knockout stages remains in the balance as Elsad Zverotic's ferocious late goal secured a smash-and-grab 2-2 draw for Young Boys on a frustrating night for the hosts at Anfield.

Anzhi Makhachkala's 2-0 win over Udinese in the early game meant any win for Brendan Rodgers' men would have sealed their progress but they failed to deliver despite a dominant performance on the night.

Joe Cole teed up Jonjo Shelvey to net the opener for the Reds with a close-range header but they were pegged back through a superb strike from Raul Bobadilla after some poor defending.

Luis Suarez was brought on to avoid going to Udinese needing to win on the final matchday and his influence was evident as Liverpool took the lead once more as the Premier League's top scorer linked up with Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole, who slotted home.

It looked like the Reds had secured the precious three points to ensure qualification but Zverotic's rocket two minutes from time deceived an unsighted Pepe Reina and flew into the roof of the net.

Liverpool looked to impose themselves early on and get their passing game going, but without a natural focal point up front, they were stifled early on by the impressive Swiss outfit, who always posed a threat on the counter attack.

Raphael Nuzzolo and Christian Schneuwly both tested Pepe Reina with half-chances as the Bern-based side looked to establish a stranglehold on the match.

It was a sumptuous piece of skill from the 'false nine' Shelvey, which almost opened up the resilient Young Boys defense as his flick slipped through the onrushing Jordan Henderson, but his tame effort was straight at Marco Wolfi.

The impressive Suso slipped in Cole with a fine pass who, in turn, chipped the keeper to find an unmarked Shelvey, who nodded home from a matter of yards to give Liverpool a lead its first-half performance had largely merited.

Suso was at the heart of everything good about Liverpool during the half but wasted a gilt-edged chance just moments before the break as he chose to shoot early after another well-worked passing move.

The Reds carried on where they left off as they went close through what was so nearly a carbon copy of their first, as Suso played in Cole, but his chip this time was blocked by the keeper, and within seconds they would pay for their profligacy.

Having narrowly escaped going two down at one end, the Swiss team broke with devastating effect as Alexander Farnerud's cross-field pass found Raul Bobadilla, who escaped the attentions of makeshift right back Jordan Henderson before lashing across Reina with his left foot on the half-volley.

Rodgers reacted by throwing on talismanic striker Suarez and his decision was almost immediately vindicated as his clever movement allowed Oussama Assaidi to get to the byline, but the final ball was lacking from the lively winger and the visitors eventually cleared their lines.

Suarez's impact would soon tell though. A lovely passage of play between the Uruguayan and fellow sub Gerrard led to the latter feeding in Cole, and the former Chelsea man beat the offside trap to fire underneath Wolfi and regain the lead.

Young Boys still held hope of gaining the point that would retain their own aspirations of qualifying for the next round and delivered the knockout blow with just minutes left on the clock.

After another swift counter, there appeared little danger as Zverotic took aim from all of 25 yards before unleashing a thunderbolt which flew past the hapless Reina, who may feel he could have done better.

The Reds huffed and puffed for a winner but it proved to be the same old story for them, as they will now reflect on the chances that didn't go in as they prepare for a make-or-break clash in Italy two weeks from now.

Follow on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!