Luis Suarez scored twice as Liverpool beat Zenit St Petersburg 3-1 but crashed out of the Europa League on away goals on Thursday.
The odds were against manager Brendan Rodgers’s side after a 2-0 defeat in Russia that owed much to some uncharacteristically profligate finishing from Suarez and lackadaisical defending.
Zenit took the lead in the 19th minute when Hulk latched onto the 35-year-old former England international’s mishit backpass and his accomplished finish past Pepe Reina befitted his status as a current Brazil international.
Suarez scored for Liverpool in the 28th minute, netting his 23rd goal in all competitions this season.
Liverpool struck again just before half time when Joe Allen volleyed in a rebound from his own header courtesy a Jose Enrique cross in the 43rd minute.
Luis Suárez curled a sensational 25-yard free kick into the top corner to make it 3-1 in the 59th minute.
Liverpool’s anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ rang around Anfield as the fans tried to push their players for a comeback, but another chance could not be crafted as Zenit – who will meet Swiss side FC Basel in the last 16 – held on to win courtesy of Hulk’s away goal.