Zenit St. Petersburg 2-0 Liverpool: Hulk and Semak Give Advantage to Zenit
Zenit St. Petersburg 2-0 Liverpool (full time result)
Live commentary from Europa League Round of 32, First Leg
Hulk (ZSP) 69', Sergey Semak (ZSP) 71'.
Zenit: Malafeev, Anyukov, Hubocan, Lombaerts, Luis Neto, Denisov, Shirokov, Witsel, Hulk, Danny (Semak), Kerzhakov.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Skrtel, Carragher, Allen, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling (Lucas), Downing, Suarez.
Right, that's your lot for the live commentary, thanks very much for joining me once again. I'll be back with coverage from Liverpool's Premier League clash against Swansea City on Sunday—surely the Reds have to turn up with a big performance in that game, after conceding two goals per game in each of their last four fixtures, winning none of them.
Stay tuned to the website over the coming hours for plenty of reaction from today's game, as well as coverage of the remaining Europa League matches this evening.
Thanks again and see you next time.
Full time result:
Zenit St. Petersburg 2 (Hulk, Semak)
MOTM: Axel Witsel
Well, it's not game over but it's certainly going to take a huge performance from Liverpool to overcome this 2-0 Zenit lead in the second leg.
Liverpool looked to be in control halfway through the second half, but quick-fire goals from Hulk and Semak have very much changed the complexion of the tie.
Luis Suarez is the Reds' top scorer this season, but he was hugely profligate today—Liverpool should at least have had two goals of their own.
It wasn't to be though and Brendan Rodgers will have a lot to think of ahead of the second leg.
Full time in Russia
Zenit St. Petersburg 2 Liverpool 0
90+1'—Fayzulin breaks through the centre and shoots, and it takes a deflection to spin just wide of Reina's far post.
90+1'—Zenit running down time on the ball, passing forwards, then back to their goalkeeper, and forwards again. They've improved markedly since scoring their first goal.
Two minutes to be added on
89'—Carragher goes through Hulk on the halfway line to concede a free kick, and Liverpool are really running out of time now. Looks like it's going to have to be a massive performance at home in the second leg if they are to progress.
87'—Final three minutes or so, with injury time to come. Zenit maintaining possession well inside the Liverpool half without committing to a real attack.
85'—Liverpool lose the ball in front of their defence and only an over-hit pass sends Hulk too wide to shoot early, instead settling for a corner. Liverpool clear their lines but Zenit remain in possession.
84'—Suarez's effort is saved low by the goalkeeper and Henderson can't quite find the angle for a shot so plays it back to Downing, but his effort is tame and lacking conviction, and is easily blocked and cleared.
82'—Neto is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Suarez, and Liverpool have a free kick just left of centre and 22 yards or so from goal. Suarez will take it, more than likely.
Zenit sub: Kerzakhov off, Fayzulin on.
80'—Into the last 10 minutes. A one-goal defeat wouldn't be the worst result for Liverpool if they had an away goal to go with it. 2-0 is a tough one to take.
79'—Free kick to Liverpool which Gerrard swings over, but there's too much pace on it for Suarez to attack convincingly. His early misses are looking rather costly now.
Liverpool sub: Lucas Leiva on for Raheem Sterling. Jordan Henderson will shift back out to the left, a role he's been occupying recently, with Lucas dropping deep in midfield.
76'—Zenit are full of confidence and renewed running now. Liverpool defending a little ragged in the middle of the pitch instead of the steady banks of four and five that they had only 10 minutes back.
73'—Liverpool have suddenly got a lot of work on to steady themselves in this game. They have to start pressing the play again, passing the ball, and work on getting themselves forward into the Zenit penalty area again.
And it's two. A cross from the right flank escapes everybody along the six yard box—until substitute Sergey Semak appears at the far post to prod home past Reina and suddenly double a Zenit lead that they didn't have at all five minutes ago. 2-0 to the home side.
Zenit 2 Liverpool 0
Sergey Semak, 71 mins
Bang, Zenit are ahead. Out of nothing, Henderson loses control of the ball in midfield, it's rolled on to Hulk who is central and 25 yards from goal, nobody closes him down and he simply leathers the ball past Skrtel and Reina into the far top corner. Absolutely terrific hit, but a preventable goal from Liverpool's point of view. 1-0.
Zenit 1 Liverpool 0
Hulk, 69 mins
68'—As we move toward the last 20 minutes, Brendan Rodgers must be thinking about a change or two. It's a fairly heavy-looking pitch which has cut up a lot since the start of the game. Jonjo Shelvey and Fabio Borini might be options to give a run off the bench.
65'—Downing and Suarez combine to win a corner for Liverpool, who are pretty much on top of the game right now. Can they make the most of their domination of the ball? Territorially they are not hugely better than Zenit, but at least they are dictating the tempo and rhythm of the play.
64'—Awful clearance from Skrtel but Glen Johnson is able to sweep up the next wave of attack. Skrtel and, for a change recently, Jordan Henderson have been the Reds' poorest players on the ball so far.
61'—Into the final half hour of the game and Liverpool will hope they can step up their attacks in the last period of the game as Zenit perhaps tire, not having started the second half of their season yet. They'll have to take one of these chances though, or it really will be a missed chance.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?