Home
Prediction League
Fixtures
Results
News
Features
Premier League
EPL Home
Latest
Clubs
Stadiums
Friends
Blogs
Football League
World Cup 2014
Europe
Euro Football Home
Latest
Russian Premier
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
La Liga
Football Italiano
International
International Home
Latest
World Cup 2010
Euro 2012 Stadiums
Euro 2012
Denmark 2011
AFCON 2013
Betting
About Us
Advertising
Write for us
Privacy
Recruitment
newswriter
Twitter
Contact Us
 
 

Liverpool Focus - Will Rodgers learn from Europa League exit?


Bookmark and Share

By Mushtaq Quraishi

Friday 22 February 2013

Brendan Rodgers’ determined Liverpool side won the battle but lost the war as the courageous Reds were knocked out of the Europa League by Zenit St Petersburg on the away goals rule, despite claiming a deserved 3-1 victory at Anfield on Thursday.


Brendan Rodgers


The brave hosts, who were attempting to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first-leg of the last 32 clash, huffed, puffed and almost blew the house down on a remarkable night on Merseyside, but it was simply not to be as the crucial and much-needed fourth goal eluded the five-time Champions League winners.


Brazilian forward Hulk made a difficult task almost impossible for Liverpool, as he capitalised on Jamie Carragher’s under-hit back-pass to open the scoring for the Russian side. That vital away goal meant that the home side would have to score four goals in order to progress and face Swiss team FC Basel in the next round.


Fortunately, Rodgers had his own superhero in the form of Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who scored two stunning free-kicks, which, coupled with Joe Allen’s goal, gave Liverpool hope. Unfortunately for the passionate Anfield crowd - which came alive, as it so usually does on famous European nights - hope was all they could hang on to for the final half hour of the game, during which they were unable to break down an increasingly anxious Zenit team.


Despite their valiant effort, the grim reality is that Liverpool are out of the Europa League and Rodgers’ chances of winning some silverware in his first season as the Reds’ manager are now dead. But this disappointing European campaign cannot simply be classed as a mistake and forgotten. Instead, the former Swansea manager will be expected to thoroughly analyse the Merseysiders’ overall performance in the competition, with the view to showing significant improvement next term, should Liverpool qualify for a European competition come the end of the current campaign.


The Reds have been inconsistent in the Premier League this season and their results on the continent have been equally unpredictable. Despite cruising through the third round qualifier against FC Gomel, Liverpool only edged past Scottish side Hearts in the qualifying play-off round. The 5-3 away win over Young Boys in the group stage was entertaining but hardly encouraging, while the 3-2 home defeat to Udinese was purely frustrating. Rodgers’ men even failed to beat Young Boys at Anfield. That Liverpool topped Group A somewhat flattered them – they could quite easily have failed to progress to the knockout stage.


When asked by this writer at Wednesday’s pre-match press conference what he had learned from his first season participating in a European competition as a manager, Rodgers spoke about how it had been ‘brilliant pitting your wits as a coach and a manager against opposition that you don’t play regularly’, why ‘your concentration level has to be really high’ and how ‘you have to make sure that your team is balanced behind the ball’ in transitional moments. However, he also claimed that there are ‘not many changes’ compared to domestic football.


Some of Europe’s most tactically astute managers may disagree. Only time will tell how much knowledge Rodgers has gained from his fascinating Europa League experience.


See what the expert tipsters are tipping on OLBG


Related Articles


» 

Chelsea vs Maribor - Match preview and team news

» 

CSKA Moscow vs Man City - Match preview and team news

» 

Looking for a job in football? Submit your CV now

» 

Ronaldo ‘will be motivated by Liverpool boos’

» 

Taarabt responds to criticism from QPR boss Redknapp

» 

Get your Premier League tickets with World Ticket Shop

» 

Liverpool have a lot to improve, says Lovren

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Name

Email Address *

Comments


Please enter code on left.


Terms & Conditions

* A valid email is required to submit a comment. Your email will not be displayed on this or any other website, nor will it be passed to any 3rd parties. For more information please see the terms and conditions.



0 Comments


No Comments have been posted yet


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Premier League Football News


ArsenalAston VillaChelseaEvertonFulhamLiverpoolManchester CityManchester UtdNewcastle UtdNorwich City
ReadingQueens Park RangersSouthamptonStoke CitySunderlandSwansea CityTottenham HotspurWest Bromwich AlbionWest HamWigan Athletic

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
  
 

 
 
 
 

Kick Football News