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 arrowed into the top corner from range, before substitute Sergei Semak sealed victory for the Russians soon after.
It means Liverpool must secure a win by a three-goal-or-greater margin in the return meeting at Anfield next week or their aspirations of lifting silverware this season will be over.
Brendan Rodgers made three changes to his starting XI in Russia, with Raheem Sterling, Martin Skrtel and Joe Allen returning to the side in place of Jonjo Shelvey, Lucas Leiva and Daniel Agger.
The boss had used his pregame press conference to emphasize Liverpool’s determination to go all the way in the competition, ...