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Joe Cole scores but Liverpool draw with Young Boys

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Jonjo Shelvey of Liverpool is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Liverpool FC and BSC Young Boys at Anfield on November 22, 2012 in Liverpool, England.

A win over Young Boys would have guaranteed a place for Liverpool in the next round. The Reds started the game with seven changes in the first team that defeated Wigan 3-0 last week. Liverpool started with four in a the back and did not have any prominent striker in the first XI. Jonjo Shelvey was supported by Joe Cole up front as Rodgers played him in a false 9. Young Boys fans showed great support to their team as around 3000 fans traveled from Switzerland to see their team face the five-time European Champions.

Liverpool started the game well as they kept good possession on the ball. Young Boys were forced to make a substitution as defender Dušan Veškovac pulled up while attempting to make a tackle on Oussama Assaidi. Juhani Ojala replaced the Serbian in the 23rd minute of the game. Liverpool got a great chance midway into the first half as Shelvey brilliantly flicked the ball onto Jordan Henderson, who failed to put the ball in the opponent’s net.

Massive respect from the Young Boys as they flashed an “in respect of Hillsborough” banner during the 28th minute of the game, gathering much appreciated applaud from the Liverpool crowd. Meanwhile, Liverpool kept pressing, but failed to create chances.

Brendan Rodgers made a tactical change as he brought on Steven Gerrard in place of Andre Wisdom as Henderson shifted into the Right Back role. The change brought immediate effect as Liverpool scored their first goal of the match from Shelvey’s header. Suso played a smooth pass to a sprinting Joe Cole who chipped the ball right in front of the goal which lead to the fourth goal in Europe for the Number 33 this season.

Liverpool received another excellent chance at the end of the first half as a nice little one-two between Shelvey and Cole created a goal scoring opportunity for Suso. But his shot failed to stay within the sticks. Liverpool ended the first half with a 1-0 lead over Young Boys.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Joe Cole of Liverpool is tackled by Juhani Ojala of Young Boys during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Liverpool FC and BSC Young Boys at Anfield on November 22, 2012 in Liverpool, England.

The second half began on a good note for Young Boys as they started playing all around the pitch with lot of confidence. Zverotic didn’t feel shy to shoot, but the shot was wide away. Young Boys leveled with Raul Bobadilla’s thundering shot 52 minutes into the game. Alexander Farnerud’s long pass fell directly to Bobadilla as his brilliant first touch created the goal scoring place. His second touch proved to be even better as his flashed the ball into the Reds net and brought Young Boys right into the game.

61 minutes into the game and Rodgers brought on Luis Suarez in place of Suso. Liverpool thus had a striker and tried to press more into the Young Boys half. Joe Cole had been playing the best match for Liverpool and he was rewarded with his first goal this season in the 72nd minute of the game. A brilliant through ball by Steven Gerrard found Joe Cole some 10 yards away from the goal. A Good first touch from him and a swift turn resulted in Liverpool’s second goal.

Liverpool made their last substitution as Raheem Sterling game on for the hero of the match Joe Cole who had one assist and one goal in his 75 minutes of the game. Young Boys on the other hand did well to keep possession and passed the ball well. Their good football resulted in the second and crucial goal in the 88th minute of the game. Elsad Zveroti? scored the equalizing goal for Young Boys which now keeps both Udinese and Young Boys in contention for a spot in the second round. The game ended 2-2.

Liverpool must secure a better result than Young Boys in the last group stage match against Udinese in order to qualify for the next stage.

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