Liverpool vs. Zenit St. Petersburg: Final score 3-1, but Reds go out

Alex Livesey

While Luis Suarez and Liverpool turned in a great performance -- at least from the 19th minute on -- they were unable to overturn the result at the Petrovsky, and Zenit St. Petersburg are through in the Europa League on away goals.

They put forth a fantastic effort on Thursday night, but Liverpool couldn't overcome Zenit St. Petersburg. While they won 3-1 on the night at Anfield, their failure to score at the Petrovsky was the difference, as Zenit went through on away goals at the end of a 3-3 aggregate draw.

Liverpool got off to a disastrous start, as Hulk appeared to end the tie in the 19th minute. Jamie Carragher badly misplayed a backwards pass, providing what was essentially a perfect flicked pass for Hulk to run onto. The Brazilian forward blew by Carragher and finished off a one-on-one chance to give his side a huge away goal.

Incredibly, Zenit fell apart after this and were poor for the rest of the match. Luis Suarez scored his first goal of the night in the 28th minute on a nice free kick, though Zenit made it easy for him. Danny stayed nowhere near Hulk in the Zenit wall, and Suarez put his shot in the gap between the two players.

There was little reason for Liverpool fans to have optimism about the tie, though, until just before the stroke of halftime. They played their way back into proceedings with a brilliant team goal, created by Jose Enrique and Jordan Henderson. The two played a stellar give-and-go combination down the left flank, resulting in Enrique's low cross to Joe Allen. The Welshman's initial effort was saved, but he poked a follow-up attempt past Vyacheslav Malafeev.

Suarez's first goal required a bit of luck, but the second was all skill. It came via a free kick again, but there was nothing the wall or goalkeeper could do to prevent it. He curled a perfect shot around the wall and it bent just inside the near post, tying the score on aggregate.

However, because of Zenit's away goal, Liverpool needed another. They had a number of solid chances, but never found their winning goal. Suarez had a free kick saved in the 70th minute, while Steven Gerrard came close with a fantastic scissor kick goal two minutes later. Zenit improved defensively in the closing minutes, and held on to advance.

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