Liverpool 3 Zenit 1: Brendan Rodgers hails ‘incredible’ Reds despite exit

Liverpool 3 Zenit 1: Brendan Rodgers hails his side's "incredible" performance despite crashing out of the Europa League at Anfield

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Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on Liverpool for their “incredible” performance despite being eliminated by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League last-32 at Anfield.

The Reds, who lost 2-0 in the first leg in Russia last week, suffered an early setback when Hulk punished Jamie Carragher for a poor back-pass and coolly prodded his finish past Pepe Reina.

However, Luis Suárez levelled after the Uruguayan striker squeezed a free-kick through a poor Zenit wall before Joe Allen scored his first European goal to put Liverpool ahead before half-time.

When Suárez curled a second free-kick out of Vyacheslav Malafeev’s reach and into the top corner of Zenit’s net, Liverpool appeared to be on the brink of yet another famous European comeback.

But Zenit held on to secure their passage on away goals as the Reds ran out of steam and became the first English club to exit the Europa League this season.

“I thought we were incredible. Obviously two down from the first leg and to concede again you might think the tie was over,” Rodgers said.

“I think we showed our quality. We should have had a penalty and we’re thoroughly disappointed.

“We lost the battle but we won the war in terms of going forward.”

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