Jamie Carragher admits Liverpool's Europa League 'mountain to climb' against Zenit St Petersburg
Carragher and Steven Gerrard both hopeful of an Anfield comeback
Liverpool's Jamie Carragher has admitted his side have "a mountain to climb" in the Europa League after their 2-0 defeat at Zenit St Petersburg last night, but hopes another of Anfield's famous European nights can redeem them in the return leg.
Two second half goals within in three minutes from Hulk and Sergei Semak sealed the match for the hosts at the sub-zero Petrovsky Stadium last night and Carragher said his team's lack of experience showed - despite him, Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva, Martin Skrtel and Jose Reina boasting 435 European appearances between them.
Carragher, who announced last week that he will retire at the end of the eason, said: "It was frustrating because up until they scored it had probably been a perfect European night in the way we dealt with the onslaught in the first half and creating a few chances."
"Second half we looked in control but that's European football, we had a few experienced lads and some young lads and you have to learn but you have to learn quickly - especially at this level.
"That is a typical European night because you think you are in control and, bang, you are 2-0 down with a mountain to climb.
"But it is a mountain the club have climbed in the past and we have to look to do again in a week's time.
"It was a disappointing night but we have a week to dust ourselves down and try to come back and if we could do it it would be a great European night."
Star man Luis Suarez squandered a number of chances, with manager Brendan Rodgers admitting the Uruguayan international could have had a hat-trick in the first half. But Carragher said Suarez- the club's top scorer with 17 goals this season- should not be held responsible for the result.
"Everyone creates chances - we never put them in - but you can't be conceding goals like that, especially at that time of the game in the 70th minute when you have everything under control," he said.
"There is no point in looking at the strikers, we have to look at ourselves as a team defensively in that situation.
"The first one is a great goal to be fair but you can always defend things better but the second one is a poor goal all round for us.
"They are big favourites now, of course they are, but it will make for a good atmosphere at Anfield next week and if we can get that first goal the place will be bouncing."
These sentiments were echoed by club captain Steven Gerrard, who told the club's official website: "If anyone can pull it back, it's us.
"We'll have an advantage with our supporters. If they can create the noise they're capable of, get behind the team and we can get an early goal, it's game on.
"But we are disappointed. It wasn't the result we wanted - we wanted an away goal and to try and sneak away with a clean sheet, but if you concede sloppy goals, you get punished and that's what happened.
"Up until the 70th minute against Zenit, the game was under control. It was a tough night in tough conditions. We're disappointed with the two sloppy goals we conceded, but the tie is not over."
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