Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Reds fall short at Anfield

10 December 2014, 09:02

Liverpool - Steven Gerrard has scored in vain as Basel ended Liverpool's Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Tuesday that consigned his side to the Europa League.

Gerrard's exquisite late free-kick cancelled out Fabian Frei's 25th-minute opener, but with Liverpool reduced to 10 men by the dismissal of substitute Lazar Markovic, Paulo Sousa's Basel held on for a point that took them into the last 16 alongside Group B winners Real Madrid.

It was yet another English scalp for Basel, who knocked Liverpool out of the tournament in 2002, eliminated Manchester United in 2011, put Tottenham Hotspur out of the Europa League two seasons ago, and beat Chelsea twice in the Champions League last year.

The match fell 10 years and a day after Gerrard had inspired Liverpool to a stirring 3-1 win over Olympiakos at the same stage of the competition, en route to an unforgettable comeback against AC Milan in the final.

But his fine 81st-minute strike was not enough to rescue his team on this occasion as Liverpool's return to Europe's elite competition after a five-year absence dissolved in the Anfield drizzle.

Also Read: Rodgers calls for Red revival

Brendan Rodgers must now rouse his side for a trip to old enemies Manchester United on Sunday, but the disappointment of a campaign in which his side's only win came against Bulgarian newcomers Ludogorets Razgrad will take some time to digest.

Rodgers had emphasised the importance of patience prior to kick-off, but in front of an anxious crowd, the hosts were eager to get forwards quickly.

Captain Gerrard, back in the team at number 10 after being rested for Saturday's 0-0 draw with Sunderland, saw an early effort easily held by visiting goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.

But there was haste and imprecision in Liverpool's attacking interplay and Basel began to exploit their nervousness, with Shkelzen Gashi slashing wide from Luca Zuffi's pass before they went ahead.

Liverpool allowed the visitors to advance to the edge of their box and paid the price when Frei exchanged passes with Zuffi before crashing a 20-yard shot into the bottom-right corner.

Raheem Sterling looked to sound the revolt by cutting in from the right and shooting at Vaclik, but Basel could have doubled their lead before half-time, with Marco Streller and Safari threatening.

Also Read: Rodgers calls on Liverpool to lift Gerrard

Rodgers introduced Markovic and Alberto Moreno at half-time and the former's direct running provided Liverpool with a spark, only for him to be sent off on the hour for swinging a hand at the chasing Safari.

The Serbian winger did not appear to make contact with his opponent, but the intent was sufficient for Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers to brandish a straight red card.

Taulant Xhaka had shot narrowly wide after striding to the edge of Liverpool's box immediately prior to Markovic's dismissal, but despite being a man down, the hosts belatedly began to offer a threat.

Martin Skrtel sent an audacious shot narrowly wide from 35 yards, while Vaclik showed impeccable timing to slide out and prevent Gerrard from surging onto Sterling's through-ball.

With nine minutes remaining, Gerrard set up a grandstand finish by arcing a picture-perfect free-kick into the top-left corner from just outside the box.

But in a frantic finale, an injury-time drive from Jordan Henderson that forced a full-length save from Vaclik was the closest the hosts came to the goal they craved.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...