Final 1-1: It’s all over at Anfield. The game ends in a draw, sending Basel through to the Round of 16 and Liverpool out of the Champions League.
Liverpool’s first Champions League campaign in five years ends in the group stage after it played Basel to a draw at Anfield. Basel outplayed Liverpool for much of the contest, and Markovic’s dismissal didn’t make things easier. But Gerrard gave the Reds hope with that stunning free kick, and Liverpool attacked Basel in waves over the last 10 minutes.
Ultimately, the late flurry wasn’t enough for Liverpool, which finishes third in Group B with five points from six games. Liverpool will compete in the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds in the new year.
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Basel progresses to the Champions League Round of 16 with seven points. The Swiss side becomes only the seventh team in Champions League history to advance from the group stage with seven points. Stuttgart was the last team do so in 2009-10.
Tennis legend Roger Federer is among those celebrating Basel’s achievement.
That’s all for now and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.
90th minute +3, 1-1: Henderson shoots on goal, but Vaclik turns it away with a diving save.
90th minute +2, 1-1: Skrtel, playing as a forward, reaches Sterling’s cross, but his shot rolls on the wrong side of the far post.
90th minute, 1-1: Mignolet blocks Embolo’s shot from point-blank range.
There will be a minimum of four minutes of stoppage time in the second half.
88th minute, 1-1: Sterling receieves Gerrard’s pass inside the Basel penalty area, but Schar and Vaclik collapse on him and block the shot.
88th minute, 1-1: Samuel replaces Zuffi, as Basel makes its final substitution.
86th minute, 1-1: Henderson’s header deflects off of Gashi and rolls toward the goal-line, but Vaclik saves it.
85th minute, 1-1: Mignolet turns away Zuffi’s effort from 20 yards out.
83rd minute, 1-1: Mignolet saves Gashi’s long-range free kick.
83rd minute, 1-1: Basel makes another substitution. Diaz comes on for Elneny.
82nd minute, 1-1: Gerrard makes Basel pay, and Liverpool has tied the game with 10 minutes remaining.
80th minute, 1-0 Basel: Schar is cautioned for a foul on Sterling just 20 yards from Basel’s goal.
77th minute, 1-0 Basel: Moreno is cautioned for a cynical foul on Gonzalez on the sideline.
74th minute, 1-0 Basel: Embolo, 17, replaces Streller, 33, as Basel makes its first substitution.
74th minute, 1-0 Basel: Liverpool makes its final substitution. Coutinho replaces his compatriot Lucas.
73rd minute, 1-0 Basel: Gerrard missess the target with a shot from the edge of Basel’s penalty area.
72nd minute, 1-0 Basel: Liverpool wants a penalty kick. Sterling’s pass sends Gerrard into Basel’s penalty area with a head of steam, but Vaclik races off his line and bats it away. Gerrard tumbles over the Basel goalkeeper, but the referee sees nothing wrong with it.
68th minute, 1-0 Basel: Skrtel rifles a right-footed shot from 25 yards out, which narrowly misses the far corner.
66th minute, 1-0 Basel: Lovren is cautioned for a foul on Xhaka, who now is down on the ground clutching his thigh.
60th minute, 1-0 Basel: The referee sends off Markovic for an apparent slap on Safari with a flailing arm.
Markovic’s game ends after 15 minutes, and Liverpool is down to 10 men.
59th minute, 1-0 Basel: Xhaka misses the target with a low shot from the edge of Liverpool’s penalty area.
58th minute, 1-0 Basel: Markovic and Allen both try to shoot from the top of the penalty area, but Basel defenders block their efforts. Liverpool is pressing for the game-tying goal.
55th minute, 1-0 Basel: Schar blocks Sterling’s shot at the other end.
53rd minute, 1-0 Basel: Lovren blocks Gonzalez’s shot.
Liverpool is showing a lot more urgency, but Basel remains dangerous on the counter-attack.
47th minute, 1-0 Basel: Lucas is cautioned for a foul on Elneny.
46th minute, 1-0 Basel: The second half is underway.
Liverpool made two substitutions at halftime, replacing Lambert and Enrique with Markovic and Moreno.
Liverpool now is playing without a striker despite needing to score two goals. It’s a gamble by Rodgers.
Halftime, 1-0 Basel: That’s the end of the first half. Basel leads at the break in a game Liverpool must win.
The first half didn’t go according to plan for Liverpool. Basel weathered the Reds’ early storm, seized the initiative and took the lead within the first 25 minutes. The home fans were hoping for a response, but the visitors improved after going ahead, and Liverpool is fortunate (on balance of play) only to be down by one.
Liverpool must improve in every aspect of the game in the second half.
45th minute, 1-0 Basel: Johnson crosses into the Basel penalty area, but it’s too high for Lambert.
43rd minute, 1-0 Basel: Gashi thought he had scored, but the referee’s assistant ruled him offside, and the goal is disallowed.
39th minute, 1-0 Basel: Skrtel clears Suchi’s cross, but Frei collects the loose ball and shoots. Lovren blocked Frei’s shot, but it’s more danger in the Liverpool half.
37th minute, 1-0 Basel: The visitors still are in control, as Liverpool struggles to find its rhythm and cohesiveness.
33rd minute, 1-0 Basel: Streller volleys a shot wide. Xhaka found the Basel striker, who was unmarked near the far post following a corner kick.
30th minute, 1-0 Basel: Enrique’s last-second intervention prevents Gonzalez from shooting from close range. A potential second goal becomes a Basel corner kick instead.
28th minute, 1-0 Basel: Sterling cuts inside and shoots with his left foot from 20 yards out, but it rolls straight to Vaclik.
25th minute, 1-0 Basel: Frei scores, and the visitors are in front.
The Basel midfield struck a low drive from the edge of Liverpool’s penalty area into the far corner of Mignolet’s goal. Zuffi is credited with the assist.
Liverpool’s defense wasn’t in sync in the build-up to the goal. It was reacting to Basel’s moves rather than pushing the visitors into uncomfortable areas. The consequence is yet another goal conceded in the Champions League.
23rd minute, 0-0: Skrtel blocks Streller’s shot from deep inside Liverpool’s penalty area.
After managing Liverpool’s early surge, the visitors’ confidence is increasing, and the impetus currently is on their side.
17th minute, 0-0: The game has had a fast and competitive start, as both sets of players aren’t shying away from making strong tackles and challenges.
13th minute, 0-0: Gashi misses the target with a left-footed shot from 25 yards out.
The opportunity came after Skrtel misplaced a pass inside Liverpool’s half.
Eighth minute, 0-0: The tempo is slowing down slightly, as Basel works its way into the game.
The visitors seem to be wary of defending too deep in their own half and are pressing Liverpool in the midfield instead.
Third minute, 0-0: Henderson slices a shot well over the crossbar.
Liverpool has seized control early on.
Second minute, 0-0: Gerrard weakly curls a shot into Vaclik’s hands.
Kickoff: Liverpool-Basel is underway at Anfield.
Pregame: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has tightened his team’s defense in recent weeks, but one of the catalysts for the Reds’ improvement at the back won’t play against Basel.
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Lovren starts at the heart of Liverpool’s defense for the first time since the 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace on Nov. 23.
Enrique also returns to the starting 11. The Spaniard played all 90 minutes in Basel’s win over Liverpool in October but only has made two appearances since then — the most recent being in the win over Stoke City on Nov. 29.
Lucas will continue to play the holding midfield role. Gerrard also returns to the starting lineup, while Allen and Henderson will flank him.
Sterling and Lambert will lead the attack from advanced positions.
Sakho is on the bench. The French defender could see his first action since his infamous walkout and subsequent injury in September.
2 p.m.: Here are the lineups:
Simon Mignolet (22), goalkeeper
Jose Enrique (3), left back
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Dejan Lovren (6), center back
Glen Johnson (2), right back
Lucas Leiva (21), midfielder
Joe Allen (24), midfielder
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Steven Gerrard (8), midfielder
Raheem Sterling (31), forward
Rickie Lambert (9), striker
Brad Jones (1), goalkeeper
Mamadou Sakho (17), defender
Alberto Moreno (18), defender
Emre Can (23), midfielder
Adam Lallana (20), midfielder
Philippe Coutinho (10), midfielder
Lazar Markovic (50), forward
Tomas Vaclik (1), goalkeeper
Fabian Schar (16), center back
Marek Suchy (17), center back
Behrang Safari (19), center back
Mohamed Elneny (33), midfielder
Fabian Frei (20), midfielder
Taulant Xhaka (34), midfielder
Luca Zuffi (7), midfielder
Shkelzen Gashi (11), midfielder
Derlis Gonzalez (25), forward
Marco Streller (9), striker
Germano Vailati (18), goalkeeper
Philipp Degen (4), defender
Walter Samuel (6), defender
Marcelo Diaz (21), midfielder
Matias Delgado (10), midfielder
Ahmed Hamoudi (24), forward
Breel Donald Embolo (36), striker
12:30 p.m. ET: Liverpool has been here before.
The Reds face Basel FC on Tuesday in a must-win UEFA Champions League game at Anfield. The hosts will leapfrog the visitors from Switzerland into second place in Group B and ensure progression to the Round of 16 with a victory in the group-stage finale.
Liverpool’s fans will be roaring on their heroes — just as they did in 2004 when they needed to beat Olympiacos in order to stay in European soccer’s elite competition. Liverpool succeeded 10 years ago in one of Anfield’s famous “European nights” and went on to win that season’s competition.
Captain Steven Gerrard likely will lead the way for Liverpool as he has done so many times in the past. Gerrard only played the last 25 minutes of Saturday’s goal-less draw against Sunderland so he should be fresh and ready to fire.
Liverpool must draw on its growing confidence (it is unbeaten in its last four games in all competitions) but remain patient if it is to win what undoubtedly will be a tense contest. In five Champions League games this season, Liverpool hasn’t scored before the last 10 minutes of the game, while Basel hasn’t scored after the 65th minute. Basel won the teams’ previous meeting, downing the Reds by a score of 1-0 on Oct. 1.
Reaching the Round of 16 was one of Liverpool’s main targets for the 2014-15 campaign. We’ll find out Tuesday whether the Reds will hit or miss in the Champions League.
Liverpool-Basel kicks off at 2:45 p.m. Join us right here for all the action from Anfield.
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