Liverpool FC’s European dream ends
2 legs, 180 minutes of normal time, 30 minutes extra time and 10 penalties was what it took to separate Liverpool and Besiktas. Liverpool FC’s was eliminated of the Europa League by Besiktas through penalty kicks on a match that was the total opposite of the Miracle of Istanbul.
Liverpool went into the second leg of the Europa League tie at the Ataturk Stadium with a 1-0 home win thanks to an 85th minute penalty from Mario Balotelli at Anfield.
Liverpool were the better team for most of the first half with Sturridge failing to capitalize on a clear cut chance in the 32nd minute (assisted by Mario Balotelli). The England Striker froze at the front of the goal and the opportunity went begging.
The second half saw a whole new Besiktas team they pressed Liverpool high up and just wouldn’t give Liverpool long enough possession of the ball to make something happen.
The good play by Besiktas was finally rewarded in the 72nd minute when substitute Tolgay Arslan scored through a curling shot from the edge of the box.
Besiktas almost won the game in normal with Demba Ba hitting the post in Injury time. After the end of 90 minutes of normal time the aggregate score line read 1-1 and the match headed into extra-time.
Besiktas dominated for much of the two extra-times as well but just couldn’t find the back of the net. 120 minutes were up and the match would now be decided by penalties.
Penalties, Awhh I can’t look!!!
Demba Ba walked up to take the first penalty for Besiktas and expertly scored it sending the Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet the wrong way. Rickie Lambert stepped up for Liverpool to take the first penalty and he too converted it.
Gokhan Tore scored the second for Besiktas but Lallana brought Liverpool level again. Veli Kavlak and Emre Can scored the third penalties of their respective teams while Joe Allen and Atiba Hutchison scored the fourth penalties for their respective teams.
Besiktas goal scorer Tolgay Arslan stepped up to take the 5th penalty for them and he coolly converted the spot-kick to make the score line 5-4 in Besiktas’ favour.
Dejan Lovren was entrusted by Liverpool to take the 5th spot kick for the team. The Croatian man who has been having a terrible time at the club ever since his 25€ million move from Southampton at the start of the season skied his shot to send Liverpool team out of the competition.
Besiktas were the deserved winners and were the better team over the two legs. The stage of their Miraculous Champions League victory in 2005 now sees a young Liverpool team bowing out of Europe’s second tier competition in the knock-out stages.
Liverpool’s only hope for silverware this season is now FA Cup.
Player Ratings: –
Gonen – 7
Kurtulus – 8
Uysal – 8.5
Franco – 6.5
Opare – 9
Hutchinson – 9
Kavlak – 7
Tore – 7
Sosa – 6.5
Sahan – 6.5
Ba – 6.5
Arslan – 9
Frei Koyunlu – 6
Mignolet – 7
Toure – 8
Skrtel – 7
Lovern – 6.5
Ibe – 5.5
Can – 7
Allen – 7
Moreno – 7
Sterling – 5.5
Sturridge – 5
Balotelli – 6
Manquillo – 6
Lallana – 6.5
Lambert – 6
Man of the Match: – Tolgay Arslan (The entire Besiktas team deserves the award but let’s give it to the deserved goalscorer.
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