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UEFA Europa League
November 22, 2012
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: A. Yefet
• Attendance: 37180
J. Shelvey 33'
J. Cole 72'
R. Bobadilla 52'
E. Zverotić 88'
That's it from Anfield, folks. The 2-2 result sees Liverpool and Young Boys tied on seven points - second and third in the group respectively. As it stands, Liverpool are by no means guaranteed progression through to the next round. Until next time - where Liverpool have to beat Udinese to go make sure they advance!
Liverpool now have to win at Udinese to guarantee qualification from Group A. Anything less and their fate will depend on Young Boys' result against group leaders Anzhi. The Reds have needlessly left themselves in a precarious position, it has to be said.
A blinding performance from Joe Cole was not enough to secure safe passage through to the last 32 as left footed strikes (wonder strikes at that) from Bobadilla and Zverotic saw Liverpool pegged back twice over the course of the 90 minutes.
FULL-TIME here. A bitter bitter taste lingers in the mouths of Liverpool fans and players as the Reds succumb to a 2-2 draw in a match they controlled for the most part.
Two minutes of injury time indicated.
Yellow Card Elsad Zverotić
Indeed, it was as foretold. The Reds tried too much instead of simply keeping possession. Two left footed wonder strikes have put paid to any hopes the hosts had of sealing progression today (barring a late winner).
Assist Michael Frey
Goal Elsad Zverotić
GOAL! Zverotic does it, he grabs a late equalizer for the visitors. He was allowed far too much space - amateur defending. From about 20 yards, he smashes home. Reina had no chance.
The Reds are pushing for a third here, but are leaving themselves a little susceptible to a Young Boys counter. Suarez twists and turns and always breaks free of his markers. Not to be quite yet, though.
And the skipper skies his free kick, but at least it kills a bit more time...
A chance to seal the game for Liverpool: a free kick about 30 yards out. Any takers? Need you ask, Mr Gerrard is in the house...
Almost a costly slip up from a poor Steven Gerrard back-pass. Elsewhere on the pitch, all the possession is with the visitors. But Liverpool look as though they have the required steel about them to see this game off.
The visiting coach is ringing the changes to give his side some fresh impetus.
Reina punches the ensuing corner clear but Young Boys soon find themselves back in possession.
Jordan Henderson clears to give the visitors a corner now. Will the Swiss side muster a late equalizer?
Zverotic fires a long range strike straight at Reina. I don't think anyone is expecting Young Boys to give in easily here...
A Young Boys attack comes to an unceremonious end as the Liverpool back line simply put a tackle in and clear the ball to cut out the danger.
Reina flounders... and gets away with it. But it still shows how the odd lapse of concentration could cost the Reds here, especially with just a single goal separating the sides.
Yellow Card Nuri Sahin
All Liverpool needed was that moment of magic. Cole provided it but the introductions of Gerrard and Suarez certainly did no harm. Now that Liverpool have the lead, it looks unlikely Young Boys can harm them. But we all know how common late goals are in European competition...
Well, it is Cole who makes way - but perhaps purely for fitness reasons. Were I not sat with a laptop on my knees, I would join the Anfield crowd in giving Cole a standing ovation for a sensational performance.
Cole is proving an unlikely hero for the Reds today. Well done is all you can say!
Assist Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard plays a great pass into Joe Cole, who turns wonderfully and slots it calmly past the keeper. Man of the match so far? One thing's for sure, with Sterling warming up on the sidelines, it would be harsh if it were Cole the 18-year-old was replacing.
Goal Joe Cole
GOAL! Joe Cole scores!!
But the Reds are trying, another corner for Liverpool.
No signs of a winning goal just yet for the Reds here, while Young Boys look the likelier to score of the two - simply because their first was so out of the blue in its nature.
One set piece follows another as a free-kick is whipped in for the hosts and Young Boys keeper Wolfli palms it away for another corner.
It's a succession of corners here but no second goal as of yet for the Reds. Still, Rodgers will no doubt be happy the hosts are the ones dictating matters at the moment.
Liverpool upping the ante once more and have a corner to show for it after Suarez and Shelvey pose problems for the visitors' defence.
And speaking of which, Luis Suarez is about to come on...
Suarez's first action is to pick Assaidi out with a clever inward pass. A goal kick is given but the Uruguayan can take credit for some inventive thinking nevertheless.
The tie hangs in the balance as far as Liverpool fans are concerned. Young Boys have all the momentum and will surely be the happier of the two sides were the scoreline to remain the same. But the Reds certainly have enough about them to regain the lead, while their substitutes bench is good enough to regain any lead.
An attacking move involving Gerrard, Henderson, Shelvey, Suso and Assaidi doesn't quite pay off for Liverpool but the hosts do find themselves with a corner as a result.
Reina is relieved to see a wasted pass find its way into his hands instead of at the feet of a Young Boys forward.
Liverpool need a winner here if they are to qualify today, but it is Young Boys who hold the initiative; the visitors have come out with real purpose and intent for this second 45.
Assist Alexander Farnerud
Goal Raul Bobadilla
GOAL! Young Boys grab an equalizer right at the other end. A long ball is played to Bobadilla on the left of the danger area and the striker takes a touch then smashes a left foot volley right into the heart of the net. Trouble for Liverpool.
Cole denied by the Young Boys goalkeeper after a wonderful pass threads him through!
And now Zverotic flashes a shot wide from range. Young Boys have certainly come out firing for this second half.
CHANCE! As a shot is flashed over from just outside the area from Farnerud of Young Boys.
And we're off as the Reds get the action underway this time!
The Reds are just 45 minutes away from qualification to the next round of the Europa League. As things stand, Liverpool are on nine points - which would leave them second in Group A, providing they don't led their lead slip, of course..
The half-time whistle blows to round off a half in which Jonjo Shelvey's close range header has set Liverpool on their way to progression to the next round. Liverpool 1-0 Young Boys at the break.
A good chance for the visitors as Bobadilla floats a header just over the bar; the visitors had done well to weave the ball into the Liverpool box once again but, as with form, they lacked the cutting edge to make the chance count.
CHANCE! As Shelvey and Cole play a neat one-two to leave Suso through on goal. The diminutive Spaniard fires his shot narrowly wide.
The visitors advance into the Liverpool box and Pepe Reina *only just* prevents a corner. But the truth of the matter is: failure to equalize will mean elimination for Young Boys.
Young Boys soaking up the Anfield atmosphere and all the pressure from the Reds. Credit must be given to the visitors for trying their hardest to get back into the game, but they have so far been unsuccessful.
CHANCE! Further involvement from Cole as he pokes at the keeper from a corner. All Liverpool now and is Cole having his best game this season?
Assist Joe Cole
Suso plays a great pass to release Joe Cole and the winger makes a brilliant run to the touchline and clips a cross over to the unmarked Shelvey, who heads into an empty net. Terrific running and vision from everyone who took part, and a 33rd minute goal for number 33!
Goal Jonjo Shelvey
GOAL! For Liverpool as Jonjo Shelvey scores his fourth goal of Liverpool's Europa League campaign!
Gerrard on for Wisdom (the right back is injured it appears, though he did just sprint down the touchline and deliver a scintillating cross). Downing left back, Henderson right back, Gerrard now captain.
Suso fires another shot at the Young Boys goalkeeper and Gerrard IS indeed coming on, looking like it is Wisdom he is replacing. What is Brendan Rodgers' thinking behind this switch?
Steven Gerrard already warming up, would be a bit bizarre to see the club captain come on for a substitution so early in the game... but good for him to be prepared for any eventuality, on the other hand.
A non-footballing moment as the visiting fans put up a banner carrying a message of justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, and applause rings around the stadium.
Young Boys win a corner of their own, but they have their work cut out to change the tide now - Liverpool have the upper hand.
CHANCE! Jonjo Shelvey plays a fantastic flick - a moment of real skill - to release Jordan Henderson one on one with the goalkeeper, who makes a fine save to force a Liverpool corner.
Joe Cole finds himself in a world of space in the Young Boys' penalty box - only to be given offside (though he fired straight at the keeper, anyhow).
Replacing the injured defender is number 3 Ojala - who scored at both ends during the teams' last meeting in Bern.
Veskovac is down injured for Young Boys here; physios surround him. The defender has been stretchered off and a replacement is imminent.
A corner for the visitors but dealt with at Liverpool's near post, prompting a sharp counter-attack that ends with the Young Boys shot stopper collecting the ball from Assaidi's feet right up the other end of the pitch!
Jordan Henderson tries his luck from a free-kick about 25 yards out, hitting it low and to the Young Boys keeper's right. Comfortable save, but signs of promise being shown.
Seemingly just to contradict me, Cole makes a lethal run down the right of the danger area and flashes the ball across goal. Not bad from the former Chelsea man but still 0-0 here.
Slow start embodied by some slow movement in the middle of the park and a completely wasted pass down the right from Joe Cole. However, as things stand, no Liverpool fan would panic with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez available to come off the bench and put a potential bore draw to bed.
Suso makes a somewhat entrepreneurial run only to fire a shot meaninglessly wide from distance. Can't fault the boy's initiative, though...
Great noise from the away fans and I wouldn't be surprised if the possession stats favored the visitors at the moment.
Another shot from Young Boys, this time from range and with hardly any sting in it. Reina collects easily but the Swiss side are stringing a few dangerous passes, with Zarate at the heart of the action - not for the first time.
Assaidi causing further problems down the left but drags his pass a little too far, handing possession to Young Boys.
The Liverpool backline making their manager proud and holding possession, but early days so far with no real attempt made to launch an attack.
And straight over to the other end, another chance for Young Boys! As a shot is whipped in but straight at Reina at the near post.
Assaidi absolutely storms down the left flank for the home side and wins a corner as a Young Boys defender is forced into a clearance to deal with the threat of the pacy wideman.
Jamie Carragher is the skipper for the Reds tonight and is approaching 500 games for the Anfield outfit. Joe Cole getting some early touches, meanwhile.
Young Boys kick off and Zarate manages to unleash a shot within 10 seconds! The Swiss visitors took a direct approach and worked the ball into the Liverpool area for Zarate to attempt an audacious overhead kick. Were he facing the goal, he may have actually hit the target.
The sides are coming out. Let's not forget Liverpool are unbeaten in seven league games, but their last outing in Europe saw them fall to defeat in Moscow. It's almost kick off time!!
Brendan Rodgers says he is happy there is "something to play for" and has spoken of the need to "use the whole squad" as his side have four games in ten days.
The last encounter between these two sides was, quite simply, a goal fest. Liverpool left Switzerland with all three points but conceded three goals and needed a late Shelvey double to steal the tie 5-3.
Finally, the Young Boys' subs bench consists of: Mvogo, Gonzalez, Ojala, Vitkieviez, Costanzo, Frey, Doubai. Once again, a win will take Liverpool through to the next round, whilst a draw would keep the Reds level with Young Boys (on seven points) and leave both sides three points behind group leaders, Anzhi Makhachkala.
Jones, Jose Enrique, Suarez, Gerrard, Coates, Allen and Sterling form a subs bench that would strike fear into many a Premier League defence, meanwhile. And the Young Boys XI for you: Wolfli, Sutter, Nef, Veskovac, Lecjaks, Zverotic, Farnerud, Zarate, Schneuwly, Nuzzolo, Bobadilla.
The Northern Irish boss has gone for an experimental starting XI, mixing youth with adventure - but with a strong bench to back it up. Reina starts in goal, with Wisdom, Skrtel, Carragher and Downing forming the back four. Suso, Sahin, Henderson make up the midfield, while Cole and Assaidi cover the flanks. Most surprising of all, however, is the inclusion of Jonjo Shelvey as a false 9 up front...
Hi folks and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! play-by-play commentary of Liverpool vs Young Boys live from Anfield. Liverpool's Europa League hopes have hung in the balance for some weeks, but now the time has come; thanks to Anzhi Makhachkala's victory over Udinese earlier, the Reds can guarantee progression into the next round with a win. Can Brendan Rodgers' men deliver another famous European night?
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