Reds downed by deadly Di Natale

Liverpool slipped to a 3-2 defeat against Europa League Group A rivals Udinese after Antonio Di Natale inspired a fightback at Anfield.

Last Updated: 04/10/12 at 22:26 Post Comment

Udinese: Celebrate win at Anfield

Udinese: Celebrate win at Anfield

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Brendan Rodgers' team led when Jonjo Shelvey headed them into a first-half lead from Stewart Downing's cross.

However, Di Natale levelled the scores early in the second half and a Sebastian Coates own goal and Giovanni Pasquale effort made it 3-1 before substitute Luis Suarez concluded a burst of three goals in five minutes when he reduced the deficit.

Liverpool made a bright start to the contest, with Oussama Assaidi shooting wide, Shelvey seeing an effort deflect off-target and from the resulting corner, the unmarked Coates sending a header towards goal which Zeljko Brkic just managed to keep out.

Udinese fired a warning at the other end when Jose Reina punched the ball in the direction of Di Natale, who responded with a strike that the Spaniard pushed away.

Reina then pulled off a superb stop to keep the scores level, getting down to turn Medhi Benatia's header from a Di Natale free-kick around the post.

The hosts went back on the attack and after Fabio Borini had dragged a shot across the face of goal having squirmed past a clutch of players, Rodgers' men made the breakthrough.

Shelvey collected the ball in midfield, sent it out wide to Downing, charged into the box and met the return cross with a crashing header past Brkic.

It was a third goal of the season for Shelvey, who had come off the bench to score a brace which secured Liverpool a 5-3 victory in their opening group game against Young Boys.

The Reds looked to have things under control, but Di Natale went close again just before the half-hour mark with an effort that just cleared the bar.

Liverpool pressurised once more but to no avail, with Glen Johnson firing over after Downing's shot was blocked, Jordan Henderson unable to make the most of a header and a Shelvey strike deflecting wide.

Rodgers had spoken in the build-up to the game about the need to keep tabs on Di Natale and less than a minute into the second half the 34-year-old punished the hosts for giving possession away.

Johnson lost the ball and it came to Di Natale, whose one-two with substitute Andrea Lazzari ended with the 34-year-old skipper expertly guiding a shot past Reina.

Rodgers reacted by introducing Steven Gerrard and Suarez, and the latter was unlucky not to restore Liverpool's lead when his acrobatic volley was inadvertently prevented from going in by the legs of his team-mate Shelvey.

Moments later, though, Udinese were in front themselves as Coates nodded a free-kick into his own net with 20 minutes remaining.

Within two minutes the Italian side had scored again to leave Anfield stunned as Di Natale brought down a long ball and rolled it to Pasquale, who drilled in from outside the box.

The goal rush did not let up, with Suarez swiftly pulling one back direct from a free-kick with a delightful curling shot.

A further effort from the Uruguayan was then clawed away by Brkic, who also pushed a low strike by Suarez to safety.

Another substitute, Raheem Sterling, also showed plenty of endeavour with a couple of late attempts, but the equaliser would not come and Liverpool find themselves third in the group after this defeat and Anzhi Makhachkala's defeat of Young Boys in the other Group A contest.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Three Bears consortium criticise Rangers board over Mike Ashley loan

The Three Bears consortium have criticised Rangers' decision to shun their offer in favour of Sports Direct's £10m loan.

Transfer news: Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko happy at the club

Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko is happy to stay at the club, despite rumours he is a target for Arsenal.

Transfer news: Samuel Eto'o leaves Everton for Sampdoria on free transfer

Samuel Eto'o has completed his free transfer from Everton to Sampdoria on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Mail Box

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company