Liverpool vs. Young Boys: Score, Analysis and Grades

Allan BrulettCorrespondent IINovember 22, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22:  Joe Cole of Liverpool scores his team's second goal to make the score 2-1 during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Liverpool FC and BSC Young Boys at Anfield on November 22, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool is facing a must-not-lose situation next week, after a late Young Boys goal left the match a draw and Liverpool without the win they needed to lock up a spot in the last 32.   

Liverpool led the game twice, but the Swiss squad scored in response each time, and the result was a 2-2 draw.   

Liverpool now needs a win at Udinese on December 6 to secure that spot in the final 32.  The draw with Liverpool keeps the Young Boys' chances alive, as well.  

The much-maligned Joe Cole netted a goal; his first for Liverpool in 19 months (Cole has largely been viewed as an expensive disappointment). 

In his first game back from injury, Jonjo Shelvey netted the Reds' other goal, but a shot from Raul Bobadilla tied the game at 1-1 and a dagger from Elsad Zverotic with two minutes to play sealed the draw.  

 

Grades

Liverpool:

Joe Cole: B

 Joe has taken a lot of heat, much of it fair, but give credit where credit is due; he played very well today.

This performance would have easily warranted an A if it happened more consistently. One hopes this is a turning point for Cole, but at 31, it seems unlikely.

 

Pepe Reina: C

 Played very well early on, but let a ball slip through his fingers when it mattered most.

He may have been rusty coming off injury, though, so we will give him the benefit of the doubt.

 

Brendan Rodgers: A

 The Liverpool manager has done an exceptional job reintegrating a slew of players returning from injury, without disrupting the team's chemistry.  

If the improvement continues, supporters' early doubts about him will be quashed sooner rather than later.  

 

Young Boys:

Raul Bobadilla: B -

 The dangerous Argentine forward played the whole match at a high level, not just his one score.  It would be a real delight to see what Bobadilla could do with more support from his mates.  

 

Marco Wölfli: B

The Young Boys' net-minder was terrific today.  The two balls that got past were the result of superb efforts by Liverpool, not gaffes by Marco.  

He saved exceptionally well, considering the superior firepower of the Reds. 

 

What's Next:

Liverpool travels to Udinese December 6 in a game where a win sends them to the last 32, a draw keeps them alive (pending the outcome of other matches) and a loss likely knocks the squad out.   

Young Boys faces Anzhi Makhachkala in an absolute must-win, but the Swiss squad will likely not be facing top-flight opposition, as Anzhi has already qualified for the final 32.