Liverpool's 2-0 defeat at Zenit St Petersburg may have left the Reds with a mountain to climb in the second leg, but boss Brendan Rodgers is undaunted.
"There is no way this tie is over," said Rodgers, after the game. "We are more than capable of getting the goals back."
The Northern Irishman's confidence is admirable, but history suggests it will be extremely difficult for Liverpool to stay in Europe after the debacle in Russia.
The Reds have lost a European tie first leg by two goals on seven previous occasions, but only once did they manage to get through with a second leg victory.
That came in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup second round, when, having lost 2-0 away to French side Auxerre, Graeme Souness' Liverpool won the return 3-0 at Anfield, which you can see in the video above.
While statistically a memorable result, this triumph has not gone down in Kop folklore like wins against Inter in 1965, Saint-Etienne in 1977 and Chelsea in 2005, chiefly because it came against less than fearsome opposition. In addition, Liverpool's good work against Auxerre was undone when they lost 4-1 on aggregate to Serie A side Genoa in the quarter-finals (see video below), having again crashed 2-0 away in the first leg.
Just months later, in the autumn of 1992, Souness' Liverpool once more trailed by two goals after the first leg of a European tie, losing 4-2 in Russia to Spartak Moscow. To make matters worse, the Reds had been only minutes away from a 2-2 draw in the Russian capital, before goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar gave away a penalty with six minutes left on the clock, being sent off in the process. Left-back David Burrows was forced into action as an emergency goalkeeper, but was beaten twice in quick succession. Liverpool were then picked off on the break at Anfield, losing 2-0 on the night (see video below).
The Reds first attempt at overcoming a two-goal first leg deficit came in the 1978/79 European Cup, when - as back-to-back defending European champions - they were drawn against domestic rivals and First Division champions Nottingham Forest in the first round. A comprehensive 2-0 defeat at the City Ground was too much for Bob Paisley's team to turn round, as Forest drew 0-0 at Anfield (see video below), en route to winning the first of their own back-to-back European Cup successes.
Liverpool again faced a 2-0 deficit in the European Cup when they lost the first leg of the 1982/83 third round at crack Polish outfit Widzew Lodz. An early Phil Neal penalty in the return gave the Kop hope, but the Poles were 4-1 up on aggregate by half-time, before late goals from Ian Rush and David Hodgson gave Liverpool victory on the night (see video below).
The other two occasions in which Liverpool have found themselves two goals down after the first leg were in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup and the 2008/09 Champions League. In the first instance, Gerard Houllier's Liverpool was in its infancy when the Reds crashed 3-1 at Spanish side Celta Vigo, after Michael Owen had initially given them the lead. The return at Anfield ended in a 1-0 defeat for Houllier's men (see video below).
Ten years later, Rafa Benitez's Liverpool faced Chelsea in Europe's premier club competition for the fifth and last season in succession, on that occasion in the quarter-finals. This time Liverpool found themselves two goals down after a first leg at Anfield, following a chastening 3-1 defeat. Incredibly, the Reds found themselves on course to progress with seven minutes left of the second leg at Stamford Bridge, being 4-3 up and a single goal away from aggregate victory, until a late Frank Lampard leveller extinguished their hopes (see video below).
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