MOTD- Zenit Saint Petersburg 2-0 Liverpool

This Second Round Europa League match between Zenit Saint Petersburg and Liverpool was a great win for Zenit, considering that they had not played a competitive match since mid-December due to the break in the Russian season.  Zenit started the game on top and in the first few minutes they should have gone ahead when a Alexander Kerzhakov shot was blocked of the line by Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, and seconds later a suburb run from Hulk down the right forced a magnificent save by Reina to his left.  Liverpool were not without chances though, and soon after the Hulk shot a Glen Johnson pass found Luis Suarez, who beat his maker in the eighteen yard box and rounded goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev, but his far post shot bobbled just wide.  Soon after Suarez got another great chance, when he intercepted a pass across the middle by Zenit defender Nicolas Lombaerts, but Suarez went around Malafeev instead of shooting, but his touch was too long and Lombaerts got to the ball first.  Suarez wasted the best chance of the half though, and when Raheem Sterling cut it back for him from four yards out, he elected to do with an elaborate back-heel that rolled inches wide, instead of a simple tap in.  Zenit were started to push Liverpool into their own half, and almost opened the scoring when a Reina parried a Hulk shot onto the post, and it rolled across the goal-line and out.  The second half started the same as the first ended, with Zenit putting pressure on the Liverpool back four, and they got rewarded for that in the seventieth minute when Liverpool got stripped of the ball thirty yards out.  Zenit’s Igor Denisov took the ball from Joe Allen, and immediately passed it to Hulk, who was not closed down properly by the Liverpool back line, so he had a go at goal from twenty yards out, and with a slight deflection, it beautifully flew into the top right corner of Reina’s net.  Two minutes later Zenit put the game to bed, and when Aleksandr Anyukov hit a low cross in from the left, it sneaked through to substitute Sergei Semak who powered it first time past Reina.  The last chance came from a Suarez free kick, but Malafeev easily saved it and the game ended 2-0 Zenit, and Liverpool will have a hard time in the second leg.
Man of the Match: Hulk


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