Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Friday November 23 2012
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been critical of his side's game management following their 2-2 draw with Young Boys Bern at Anfield...
A thumping late equaliser by Young Boys full-back Elsad Zverotic, as the hosts committed men forward looking for a third goal, ensured Europa League Group A goes down to the final round of matches.
Twice Liverpool led, the goals coming from Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Cole, but they just couldn't see the game out and ultimately succumbed to two strikes of real quality in reply.
In addition to Zverotic's goal with only two minutes to play, Argentine danger man Raúl Bobadilla had earlier cancelled out Liverpool's half-time lead by capitalising on the space left by make-shift full-back Jordan Henderson's venture forward and smacking home an angled volley.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers analysed: "The players gave everything. The team out there was very committed against a good side.
"[But] you lead twice in the game, and miss a hatful of chances as well, and then to concede the goal like we did at the end was very disappointing.
"2-1 up with three or four minutes to go, you've got to control the game better. You've got to show better game management. That was the only disappointment.
"I'm not telling you anything I haven't told the players. We get the chance to shoot at one end and then in the 87th minute we're walking back.
"Oussama [Assaidi] has a go at trying to get the ball but then they work their way through to the edge of the box unchallenged. It's a disappointing goal when you analyse it."
A disappointing goal indeed and one which could easily prove pivotal with Liverpool now needing at least a draw away to Udinese in their final fixture to progress.
Despite losing 2-0 to Anzhi Makhachkala yesterday the Italians can in fact still qualify themselves, potentially making the task even more difficult for Liverpool.
In truth the Reds are likely to need all three points with Young Boys sitting on the same number of points and facing the already qualified Anzhi in their last game.
Speaking of the situation, Rodgers added: "It's simple enough, we've got to get a good result and match the result of Young Boys.
"Ideally we'd have qualified tonight but we haven't so it has to go to the last game and we have to control our affairs then."
Despite the setback Rodgers defended his decision to start the likes of Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling on the bench.
"We've got four games in 10 days and I was trying to make sure we were as fresh as we could possibly be," explained the 39-year-old.
"We're trying to navigate our way through this tournament with a thin squad.
"I don't think it was anything to do with the strength of the team tonight. We had good strength, we showed good qualities in the game and we were in front in the game."
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Date:Friday November 23 2012
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