Champions League - Group B
LiverpoolLiverpool1FC BaselFC Basel1

Liverpool 1-1 Basel

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Anfield
Basel celebrate scoring against Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League
Liverpool have gone seven Champions League games without keeping a clean sheet
  • Liverpool manage one win in six Group B games
  • The Reds finish third in group with five points
  • Liverpool will now compete in the Europa League
  • Basel advance to the Champions League's last 16

Liverpool's wretched Champions League campaign came to a disappointing conclusion as they failed to beat Basel at Anfield and saw their hopes of reaching the knockout phase evaporate.

Steven Gerrard - who dragged Liverpool through to victory in a similar situation against OIympiakos at Anfield a decade ago - threatened to do so again when his brilliant late free-kick equalised Fabian Frei's first-half goal for the Swiss.

Up until Gerrard's equaliser, this was not an occasion in the famous Anfield tradition of European nights, The Kop silenced for long periods except when voicing frustration at a side that has lost its way since coming so close to winning the Premier League last season.

Liverpool may claim injustice after substitute Lazar Markovic was sent off after coming on and delivering a promising cameo.

But once he senselessly raised his arm in the direction of the pursuing Behrang Safari, he was running the risk of a red card.

It is another setback in a disappointing season for manager Brendan Rodgers, who must now galvanise players who looked devastated at the final whistle for a Europa League campaign.

Liverpool have lost the goals of talisman Luis Suarez to Barcelona as well as Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli to injury, but that does not fully explain how they have become so pedestrian and lacking in spark.

The Champions League was meant to be a return to their rightful status for Liverpool.

But one win in six group games, and that only a fortunate victory earned by Gerrard's late penalty against Ludogorets, tells the tale of a team that has simply not been up to the demands of Europe's elite tournament.

Liverpool now have a pivotal week where they face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and then visit Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup quarter-final.

Basel's fans were in noisy and buoyant mood despite a Merseyside downpour before kick-off - and that optimism was reflected in their team during an opening half that reduced Anfield to frustrated silence at its conclusion.

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty at Anfield:
"This has been a wretched Champions League campaign for Liverpool, with only one win from six games. On that basis there can be no complaints from manager Brendan Rodgers or his players."

Instead of coming out with pace, energy, movement and the sort of threat befitting the task in front of them, Liverpool were nervous and slower than Basel, who took a deserved lead after 25 minutes.

Frei's low shot from the edge of the area beat the motionless Simon Mignolet after a slick exchange with Luca Zuffi proved too much for Liverpool's hesitant defence.

Instead of sparking Liverpool into action, the goal only added to Basel's confidence and they looked more likely to add a second than the home team did to finding an equaliser before Rodgers was forced into a double substitution at the start of the second half.

Jose Enrique and Rickie Lambert were replaced by Alberto Moreno and Markovic, the latter finally injecting some drive and tempo into Liverpool's game before his sending off just after the hour mark.

Liverpool were struggling to create chances and referee Bjorn Kuipers from the Netherlands infuriated The Kop even further when he ignored loud appeals for a penalty as Gerrard went down as he and visiting keeper Tomas Vaclik challenged for a loose ball in the area.

Just as hope seemed to be slipping away, it was Gerrard who delivered once more, showing superb technique to send his free-kick from 20 yards just inside the post and into the top corner beyond the flying figure of Vaclik.

As the pressure and the noise levels finally grew, Vaclik had to show great athleticism to clutch Jordan Henderson's deflected header as it looked set to bounce over the line in front of an expectant Kop.

In a predictably frenzied finale, defender Martin Skrtel was sent up front as a last throw of the dice and was just off target with a near-post flick while Vaclik again saved well from Henderson.

But it was tough to compile a strong case for Liverpool deserving to get out of this group.

Basel celebrate scoring at Liverpool in the Champions League
Liverpool have never defeated Basel in European competition
Basel celebrate scoring against Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League
Liverpool have been eliminated in consecutive Champions League campaigns at the group stage
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (right) reacts after Basel take the lead at Anfield
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet (22) had more touches in the first half than Rickie Lambert (17)
Liverpool substitute Lazar Markovic (right) is sent off
Midfielder Lazar Markovic is the third Liverpool player to be sent off in Champions League action after Jermaine Pennant and Dietmar Hamann
Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring against Basel
Steven Gerrard scored Liverpool's equaliser - but will the 34-year-old play on the Champions League stage again?

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Johnson
  • 37Skrtel
  • 6LovrenBooked at 66mins
  • 3Enrique Sanchez DiazSubstituted forMorenoat 45'minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 21LeivaBooked at 47minsSubstituted forCoutinhoat 74'minutes
  • 24Allen
  • 31Sterling
  • 8Gerrard
  • 14Henderson
  • 9LambertSubstituted forMarkovicat 45'minutesBooked at 61mins

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 10Coutinho
  • 17Sakho
  • 18Moreno
  • 20Lallana
  • 23Can
  • 50Markovic

FC Basel

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Vaclik
  • 34Xhaka
  • 16SchärBooked at 80mins
  • 17Suchy
  • 19Safari
  • 33ElnenySubstituted forDíazat 83'minutes
  • 20Frei
  • 7ZuffiSubstituted forSamuelat 88'minutes
  • 25González
  • 9StrellerSubstituted forEmboloat 74'minutes
  • 11Gashi

Substitutes

  • 4Degen
  • 6Samuel
  • 10Delgado
  • 18Vailati
  • 21Díaz
  • 24Bekhit Abdelgaber
  • 36Embolo
Referee:
Björn Kuipers
Attendance:
43,290

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamFC Basel
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home16
Away17
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 1, FC Basel 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 1, FC Basel 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Breel Embolo (FC Basel) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcelo Díaz.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Marek Suchy.

  9. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  10. Post update

    Delay in match Tomás Vaclik (FC Basel) because of an injury.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Marek Suchy.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, FC Basel. Walter Samuel replaces Luca Zuffi.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Alberto Moreno with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Taulant Xhaka (FC Basel) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Derlis González.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Luca Zuffi (FC Basel) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Marek Suchy.

  18. Post update

    Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Breel Embolo (FC Basel).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, FC Basel. Marcelo Díaz replaces Mohamed Elneny.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Atl Madrid64111431113
2Juventus631274310
3Olympiakos63031013-39
4Malmö FF6105415-113

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid66001621418
2FC Basel621378-17
3Liverpool612359-45
4Ludogorets6114514-94

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Monaco632141311
2B Leverkusen631274310
3Zenit St Petersburg621346-27
4Benfica612326-45

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Dortmund64111441013
2Arsenal6411158713
3Anderlecht6132810-26
4Galatasaray6015419-151

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bayern Munich5401134912
2Roma5122812-45
3CSKA Moscow5122610-45
4Man City512278-15

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1PSG541094513
2Barcelona5401124812
3Ajax5023410-62
4Apoel Nicosia501418-71

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea53201421211
2Sporting521211927
3Schalke5122814-65
4NK Maribor5032412-83

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Porto54101531213
2Shakhtar Donetsk5221143118
3Ath Bilbao511336-34
4BATE Borisov5104222-203
View full Champions League tables

Top Stories