Five-time European champions they may be but Liverpool must wait before they can take their place in the last 32 of the Europa League after allowing Swiss side Young Boys to draw 2-2 at Anfield on Thursday.
A much-changed Liverpool side - coach Brendan Rodgers left Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard on the bench to begin with - let the Swiss off the hook after Jonjo Shelvey and the recalled Joe Cole had scored to sandwich a riposte from Raul Bobadilla.
With just two minutes remaining, Elsad Zverotic had the 2,500-strong visiting contingent on their feet as he thrashed a fine strike past Pepe Reina, the Spaniard beating Ray Clemence’s European goalkeeping appearances record in Europe in his 81st game.
“Conceding a late goal is disappointing,” said Cole. “It was just game management at the end, to see the game out, which let us down. We’ve got a lot of young lads on the pitch, but we should have seen the game out.”
Rodgers was likewise frustrated. “We didn’t control the game well in the final few minutes. But it’s another point and we can still control our own destiny. It makes it harder than we would have liked.”
The draw means Liverpool may need to win their final game at Udinese as Young Boys joined the Merseysiders on seven points.
Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala are already through from Group A after Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o scored in a 2-0 success over Udinese. Tottenham could only draw 0-0 at Lazio - who qualify - meaning they also have to gain a point in their final game at home to Panathinaikos.