Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool can retain Europa League hopes despite defeat to Zenit
Reds lost 2-0 to Zenit St Petersburg
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers refused to lay the blame for their 2-0 Europa League defeat to Zenit St Petersburg on the chances Luis Suarez missed.
The Reds boss admitted the Uruguay international could have had a three before half-time, on one occasion rounding goalkeeper Alexander Kerzhakov but failing to find the net.
His misses, which also included a cheeky backheel from close range he put wide, kept Zenit in the game and with 20 minutes to go Hulk, from 30 yards, and Sergei Semak gave the hosts a significant lead in their last-32 tie.
"He could have had a hat-trick by half-time," Rodgers said.
"It just wasn't his night but he's been brilliant for us all season.
"The important thing is that after his first one-on-one, he kept going and was still in there."
Rodgers bemoaned the defensive errors which cost his side for the second time in four days after Monday's late slip-up at home to West Brom.
"Going into the last 20-25 minutes I was thinking we could win the game but we gave away two poor goals," he added.
"The first one is a terrific strike but we are disappointed with the build-up and we could have defended it better.
"We ended up losing the game when we probably should have won the game.
"In six months, 12 months' time we won't be making those mistakes.
"This is a group that is growing and this is part of our growing pains.
"We have put in some terrific performances this season and not always got results but we have to be more clinical and that is something over the course of the coming months which will have to take place."
Liverpool face an uphill struggle at Anfield next Thursday to keep their European campaign alive but Rodgers is not giving up just yet.
"There is no way the tie is over, not by a long shot. We are more than capable of getting the goals back," he said.
"I think the next goal is vitally important for us and what gives us hope is we created enough to win the game.
"If we get it early it can create the momentum for us.
"At 2-0 (down) you can retrieve something and it gives us a fighting chance."
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
Gaël Clichy: Roberto Mancini must take share of blame for dismissal
Sergio Garcia apologises for 'fried chicken' remark aimed towards Tiger Woods
Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
Phil Neville in frame for role at Stoke City
Andy Carroll stalls on £15m move to West Ham in hope Newcastle step in
- 1 Terror at Woolwich barracks: Attacker tried to behead and disembowel British soldier
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.