Liverpool will need to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the return-leg at Anfield after losing the first game of its Europa League Round of 32 series against Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia on Thursday. The Reds conceded two goals in two second-half minutes: the first was an unstoppable, but unchallenged, strike from Brazilian forwardHulk after 70 minutes; the second, a close-range effort from an unmarked Sergei Semak following Alexander Anyukov’s low cross, came two minutes later.
After the game, Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers insisted, "There is no way the [series] is over -- we are more than capable of getting the goals back. What gives us hope is that we created enough to win the game." Rodgers pointed to the wastefulness of his usually reliable striker Luis Suarez. "He could have had a hat trick by halftime,” he said. “It wasn't his night but he's been brilliant for us all season."
Meanwhile, Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti agreed that the series is still far from over: “We going to Anfield. It's the place where the hosts' fans become monsters, the players become really up for the fight."