Liverpool crash to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Zenit in the first leg of Europa League Round of 32. The Reds only have themselves to blame after missing more than a few opportunities to score the crucial away goal in Russia.
The game started brightly as both teams got golden chances to open the scoring in the first few minutes but Reina kept scores level with a wonder save at one end and Suarez on the other hand dribbled past opponent but failed to hit the target.
Liverpool’s top goal scorer this season, Luis Suarez was having one of those days when nothing was going in for him. In fact, he was finding it hard to even hit the target.
The Uruguayan unbelievably squandered no less than three clear cut chances in the first 45 minutes. A player in form and with ability like him should have scored but Suarez lacked composure. The best chance was gifted to him by Zenit’s defense and Liverpool number 7 was one on one with the goalie. In such circumstances Suarez is lethal these days but he messed up big time there.
Then again, right at the end of the first half, Suarez missed another great chance from just four yards out, he tried to flick the ball when he could have easily waited and slotted the ball in the net. Instead, he flicked it wide as the team went into half time break at 0-0.
In the second period, Zenit were more solid at the back and did not let Liverpool create openings. On the other hand they pressurized the visitors with constant attacking threat as well.
Just like Liverpool’s recent showings, they somehow do not keep concentration for full 90 minutes and once again, lapse of concentration cost them as Zenit capitalized and scored two quick goals to change the complete picture of the tie.
The reds have a mountain to climb now and it will take an outstanding effort by the team at Anfield if they want to ensure qualification to the next round of Europa League. Having failed to score the much needed away goal, Liverpool are in deep trouble. If Zenit score just once more in the tie, Liverpool will have to score 4 goals to qualify.
With mere one win in the last seven games, Liverpool are by no means confident. They may as well bounce back in the second leg and dominate at Anfield still the Russian side Zenit are clear favorites to eliminate the merseysiders from the competition next week.
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