|Hulk's goal was fantastic...|
Brendan Rodgers fielded a very strong side after making it clear this week that he wasn't going to rest anybody. He obviously realised the size of the task ahead and the importance of gaining a result in Russia.
The first half consisted of several missed chances for both sides and on a rather questionable playing surface Luis Suarez was one of a few players struggling to compete with the ground at times. Without the cup tied Daniel Sturridge once again Liverpool found themselves lacking an option and despite the best efforts of Suarez, he couldn't find the Reds an opening goal.
Luckily for Liverpool when the attacks came in from Zenit Pepe Reina and Jamie Carragher were confidently dealing with them, some great saves and timed tackles kept Liverpool in the game and Brendan I would assume would have felt pretty ok with the scoreline at half time.
A goalless draw to take back to Anfield would have been very nice but the second half would pose greater problems for Liverpool than the first.
The Reds didn't create as many chances in the second half and Zenit were beginning to keep more of the possession. It was clear the home side were becoming more confident and with some dangerous players on their side it was only a matter of time before they found the back of the net within this momentum.
Just before the 70 minute mark that goal came. From outside the area a simply wonderful strike from Hulk left the Reds with a lot of work to do in the last 20 minutes of the game. With barely a minute to recompose themselves though Zenit had found themselves a second.
A close range goal for Semak sent the home fans wild and now there really was no way back for Liverpool. Lucas was brought on after the goal in an attempt to prevent any further damage and Liverpool managed to make it to the final whistle without conceding any more.
It's not an impossible task to turn this around at Anfield, of course it's not but you have to be optimistic like myself to hope Liverpool can pull off one of their famous European nights. As many have said it depends on "which team turns up" and without Sturridge I feel we're lacking easy goals that would boost our confidence in a game where we're creating chances but not converting.
All hope is not lost though so here's hoping for a bit of magic next week. First though, Liverpool have to face Swansea on Sunday!