Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has called on striker Luis Suarez to produce the goods when The Reds seek to overcome a two-goal defecit against Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League last 32 second leg at Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers' side are hoping to evoke memories of famous European nights on Merseyside when taking on Zenit, with a place in the last 16 on offer.

The reliance on Suarez for goals this season is likely to continue into this crunch encounter and skipper Gerrard has called upon the Uruguayan to produce once again to assist a Liverpool side who have often been accused of not complementing good performances with victories this term.

Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez
Gerrard is looking to Suarez for inspiration

"For me he's been player of the year, across this league and a lot more leagues," Gerrard told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"There are probably only one or two people who you could say have been better than him this season.

"I'm not sure, but it's a scary thought if he does improve on how he's been performing this season.

"You remember top players for games like this - important goals and big performances that turn situations in your favour," Gerrard added.

"I'd love nothing better than for this game to be decided on a bit of magic or brilliance from him. With the season he's had, I think he does deserve it.

"We're playing fantastic football and we're performing really well, but it seems as if we're taking two or three steps forward and then one back.

"That's because of individual errors throughout the team and I think we've all been guilty of that at various stages of the season.

"There have been performances that have been up there with the best I've experienced as a Liverpool player. We've blown teams away and we've murdered teams in possession. If they were boxing matches, the towel would have gone in before the final whistle.

"But the frustrating thing is that on the back of those fantastic performances, this team hasn't turned up or we've made stupid schoolboy errors which have led to bad results.

"They're the performances we need to eradicate if we're going to become a top side and mix it with the best, both domestically and in Europe."

Second half goals from Hulk and Sergei Semak give Zenit a significant advantage heading into the return fixture, and the Russians will be looking to avoid another exit from Europe this season after dropping out of the Champions League group phase.

With qualification for Europe looking like a distant dream, Liverpool's final hopes of success this season lie in winning the Europa League, a competition under the guise of the Uefa Cup they last claimed in 2001.