Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard remains confident his side can overturn a 0-2 deficit and advance to the next round of the UEFA Europa League. The Reds travelled to St Petersburg on Thursday evening, to play Russian champions Zenit. Unfortunately for Brendan Rodgers and the clubs' fans, the Anfield club were beaten by goals from Zenit's big-money summer signing Hulk and Russian midfielder Sergey Semak.
"We're obviously down. On the back of two defeats, it's a difficult moment but we need a reaction. We've got a big game in a couple of days against Swansea [the Reds play Swansea on Monday evening] and we need to bounce back," the veteran midfielder told LFC TV.
Zenit's goals came in the 70th and 72nd minutes of a match the hosts dominated fairly easily. Liverpool did have their chances but failed to really test Vyacheslav Malafeev. Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who has been in superb form all season for Liverpool, would have been particularly disappointed with his showing.
Nevertheless, Gerrard believes the tie is still far from over and although he acknowledges Zenit have the upper hand, the 32-year-old England international is adamant Anfield will be tough nut for the Russians to crack.
"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," Gerrard said.
"We'll have an advantage with our supporters," he added, "If they can create the noise they're capable of, get behind the team and we can get an early goal, it is game on. If anyone can pull it back, it's us."
Downing Admits Mistakes
Meanwhile, Liverpool winger Stewart Downing was more forthcoming about his club's errors.
"They've got some quality players and they showed that. Hulk was quiet for large periods but he came up with something special. They started well and put us under a little bit of pressure, but with the chances we had, especially coming here, it's quite hostile..." the Middlesbrough youth player said.