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UEFA Europa League
February 21, 2013
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: B. Kuipers
• Attendance: 42735
L. Suárez 28', 59'
J. Allen 43'
Aggregate 3 - 3 Zenit win on away goals
Thanks for joining us this evening, and make sure to stick with Goal.com for all the reaction, but from me that's goodnight.
After Carragher's mistake led to Hulk's goal early in the game, it seemed Liverpool were down and out of the tie. However a spirited fight-back, which saw Suarez (2) and Allen give the Reds hope, made the Anfield crowd believe. They also should have had a penalty - which ultimately would have sent them through - however it wasn't meant to be and it is Zenit who have their name in the last-16 draw.
FULL-TIME! Liverpool 3-1 Zenit (3-3 on aggregate). Zenit progress on away goals.
90' + 3'
Liverpool mess around with the ball at the back when they should be launching it into Zenit's half.
90' + 2'
Witsel beats Reina to the ball and Zenit are able to hold on to it - they've got a throw-in on the right-hand-side.
90' + 1'
Corner to Liverpool, it's headed behind and they have another one - three minutes added on by the way.
Raheem Sterling rolls the ball into the area but it's behind Gerrard and Shelvey as the chances goes. The Reds will build again though..
Suarez and Gerrard try to link up and find a way through the Zenit defence, but they are crowded out as the Russians get back in numbers.
Suarez catches Hubocan's back with his studs as the Zenit defender falls to the ground - not sure if that one was accidental or not.
Suarez is brought down on the left-flank and Liverpool have a free-kick, they take it quickly but Assaidi's cross is cleared away from Shelvey.
Johnson crosses from the right but it's straight into Malafeev's arms.
Hubocan makes a brilliant sliding tackle to deny Assaidi a chance to cross.
Hulk smashes a free-kick miles over the bar, wasting a decent opportunity for Zenit to waste a bit of time.
Gerrard almost latches onto a through ball but he's beaten to it. The Reds have a corner, though, but Downing's ball fails to beat the first man.
Shelvey smashes the ball at goal after a loose touch from the Zenit centre-back - it ripples the net but, unfortunately for Liverpool, it's only the side netting.
Anyukov shoots from range but it's deflected behind for a corner - again the chance coming from Liverpool giving the ball away at the back.
Great save from Reina to deny Hulk after a mistake by the Liverpool defence, who are dallying on the ball at the back a bit too much at the moment.
Double-save from Malafeev! The Zenit keeper firstly tips Enrique's cross away from the six-yard box and then reacts quickly to keep out Gerrard's follow-up.
Suarez's low strike is parried away by Malafeev. Zenit then scramble it clear again.
Assaidi tumbles under pressure right on the edge of the box. Free-kick to Liverpool, could it be Suarez again...
Hulk's effort goes just wide, but had Reina scrambling as it moved in the air.
Yellow Card Jonjo Shelvey
Shelvey flies in with a reckless lunge on Hulk, and earns a yellow card. Free-kick to Zenit...
Johnson tries a strike from range but it goes behind after hitting Suarez.
Corner to Liverpool after good work from Suarez, Jonjo Shelvey delivers but it's headed clear.
The Reds need one more and goal and they have all the momentum. Zenit look shaken here.
Goal Luis Suárez
GOAL!! 3-1 LIVERPOOL AND IT'S SUAREZ WITH ANOTHER FREE-KICK!! This time he gets it up and over the wall and then back down again, with the ball swerving just inside the post. Game most definitely on!
Suarez wins a free-kick in a good area for the Reds...
Fantastic challenge from Criscito as Suarez almost gets in behind the back-four, that would have been a penalty had it got it wrong.
Downing winds his way down the right-hand-side but his low cross is cleared with ease.
Liverpool have a corner after Gerrard's cross is deflected behind, the midfielder takes it himself but Zenit get it away.
BIG shout for handball from the Liverpool fans and players as Hubocan makes a hash of controlling the ball in his own box. Nothing is given though and Suarez shoots wide.
Enrique delivers from the left after some good work from the hosts but it's headed away.
David Lynch from Anfield: "Criscito replaces the injured Lombaerts at half-time for Zenit. A further, tactical change for the Russians as Danny makes way for Fayzulin. Hubocan moves in to centre-back and Criscito will play at left-back."
Liverpool get us back underway.
Half-time!! Liverpool 2-1 Zenit. Goals from Suarez and Allen have given the hosts new-found hope after Carragher's mistake, and Hulk's subsequent goal, left the Reds with a mighty task on their hands if they are to progress to the last-16 of the Europa League. Rodgers' men still need to find two more goals in the second half, as well as keeping Zenit at bay, but with the Anfield crowd clearly in the mood they will believe it's a possibility.
45' + 1'
Suarez wins a free-kick on the left-hand-side on the Zenit box but Gerrard sends it straight into the keeper's arms.
David Lynch reports from Anfield: "A further blow for Zenit as Lombaerts leaves the field on a stretcher. Though he is up hobbling on the sidelines."
Goal Joe Allen
GOAL!! Allen puts Liverpool 2-1 ahead! Enrique plays a wonderful one-two with Henderson on the left-hand-side of the Zenit box, allowing the defender to find the midfielder with a fizzed cross. His header is saved acrobatically by Malafeev but the former Swansea man finds the net with the rebound.
Downing delivers a deep free-kick into the Zenit box but Malafeev rises high and claims it.
Hulk almost falls over the ball while attempting a step-over, much to the delight of the Anfield crowd.
Downing hits a low ball across the Zenit six-yard box but it's cleared away. The Reds are pinning the visitors' back in their own half, but it's leaving spaces up the other end.
Anyukov lashes a shot goal-wards from the right-wing but it's wide of Reina's left-hand post.
So close to 2-1 Zenit! Hulk finds Danny with a pin-point ball into the Liverpool box, the latter brings it down with his chest but his volley is just wide of the mark.
Enrique finds Suarez with a brilliant ball, the forward brings it down but then passes to thin air and Zenit clear the danger.
Reina nearly makes an absolute hash of a back-pass by kicking the ball against himself, but the bounce is kind and he recovers it before Hulk is able to pounce.
Gerrard whips in a free-kick from the right-hand-side after he is fouled right on the edge of the box - it's a brilliant delivery but Anyukov flicks it behind.
David Lynch from Anfield: "Liverpool have a lifeline but they still need three more goals. Luis Suarez slams home a free kick after Daniel Agger is fouled making a mazy run to the edge of the box. Still a lot to do for Rodgers' men."
Goal Luis Suárez
GOAL!! Suarez makes it level with a low-driven free-kick! The forward's strike finding its way through Zenit's wall. Game on?
Yellow Card Igor Denisov
Agger is brought down right on the edge of the Zenit penalty box. Liverpool with a free-kick in a great position...
Agger finds Downing with a brilliant cross-field ball but the latter's cross is headed away. Zenit then clear the Reds' second attempt at an attack too.
Henderson has a shot blocked after Liverpool work a bit of space on the edge of the Zenit area. The away side have virtually everyone behind the ball now.
Liverpool now need to score four goals to progress.
GOAL!! Hulk scores for Zenit and leaves Liverpool with a mountain to climb! It's an absolute howler from Carragher, who miss-hits a back-pass allowing the striker to stroll in and slot the ball past Reina.
Gerrard crosses towards Henderson from the right-hand-side but Malafeev claims it with ease.
Joe Allen and Suarez exchange passes with a one-two inside Zenit's penalty box, but the return ball from the midfielder is intercepted.
Alexander Anyukov sends a long ball towards the Liverpool box but Johnson deals with it well and finds Jose Reina's arms.
Gerrard smashes a free-kick over the bar, wasting a dangerous position for the Reds.
Downing clips a decent ball into the Zenit box but the visitors' keeper Vyachesiav Malafeev punches it away, before the defender hacks it clear. The hosts are keeping the pressure on here.
Suarez brings down a high ball expertly but gets crowded out by the Zenit defence and Nicolas Lombaerts wins it back.
Henderson dispossesses his man in a dangerous area but tries to bend it in from a tight angle when he had options in the middle. Poor decision, that.
Jordan Henderson attempts an ambitious volley from way out, but he slices it horribly wide. That would have been special!
Glen Johnson finds Stuart Downing with a neat back-heel but the winger's cross is blocked. The hosts have started brightly, though.
Jose Enrique sends a long ball towards Suarez but the forward can't quite take it under control on the edge of the opponents' area.
Zenit get us underway.
Kick-off imminent at Anfield...
A history lesson - The Reds have won the Uefa Cup (now the Europa League) three times - back in 1973, 1976 and 2001. Zenit won the Uefa Cup back in 2008 - when they beat Rangers 2-0 in the final at Manchester City’s stadium.
Here's a nice little link between the two clubs for you; Martin Skrtel made 92 appearances and scored three goals for Zenit before moving to Anfield in 2007.
Our man at Anfield this evening is David Lynch, and he has this to say: "Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard appealed to the Liverpool fans this week to get in early and turn this into a real European night and they have duly obliged. The Kop is already full with 10 minutes to go until kick-off and the Reds supporters are in fine voice. If they're going out tonight, this is still going to be fun."
However, an early goal for Zenit could well kill the tie and see the Reds head for an early exit. Let's hope for an entertaining clash either way.
So, Liverpool need three goals to go through in 90 minutes, but could progress in extra-time or penalties with a 2-0 win in normal time.
Zenit starting line-up: Malafeev; Anyukov, Neto, Hubocan, Lombaerts; Witsel, Danny, Denisov; Shirokov, Semak, Hulk Subs: Zhevnov, Alves, Criscito, Rodic, Fayzulin, Bukharov, Kerzhakov
Liverpool starting line-up: Reina; Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Enrique; Lucas, Allen, Gerrard; Henderson, Downing, Suarez Subs: Gulacsi, Coates, Wisdom, Shelvey, Assaidi, Suso, Sterling
Teams in full to follow...
Brendan Rodgers is without Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, the pair having played for Chelsea and Inter Milan respectively in Europe already this season. Elsewhere Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. Zenit's goal-scorers Hulk and Sergey Semak both start, while Aleksandr Kerzhakov is on the bench.
Good evening and welcome Goal.com's play-by-play text commentary of Liverpool's last-32 second-leg Europa League clash with Zenit. The Reds go into the tie needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit after falling to defeat in Russia, with the Premier League side hoping the Anfield crowd can cheer them on to what would be a famous comeback.
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