Found February 14, 2013 on
Liverpool conceded two goals in less than three minutes to Zenit St Petersburg to leave their Europa League campaign hanging in the balance after a 2-0 defeat Thursday night.
Despite having failed to properly test goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev with a number of chances the Reds seemed to be managing to hold on in their last-32 Europa League first-leg tie in the sub-zero Petrovsky Stadium.
But with 20 minutes remaining Hulk powered home a brilliant 30-yard strike before substitute Sergei Semak converted from close-range moments later.
Liverpool - and in particular top scorer Luis Suarez - will have to rediscover their shooting boots for the return leg next week otherwise their last chance of a trophy this season will be lost.
Manager Brendan Rodgers insisted he planned to give this competition due significance once they were into the knockout stage but an unexpected FA Cup exit to Oldham and a failure to pick up the pace in the Premier League made it seem even more important.
BEST OF MAXIM
Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti accepts his side cannot afford to be second best against Liverpool on Thursday in their Europa League last-32 first-leg tie.
The Russian champions have not played a competitive match since mid-December because of the break in the domestic season, but Spalletti does not view that as an excuse.
"We can't play as number two. We...
Liverpool’s hopes of Europa League success took a blow after it went down to a 2-0 defeat to Zenit St. Petersburg in the first leg of the last 32 tie in Russia on Thursday evening.
The Reds created plenty of chances in an entertaining game but were ultimately punished by two late goals for the home side.
Hulk fired Zenit into the lead with just over 20 minutes remaining when he...