Paris: Five-times European Cup winners Liverpool came up just short as they crashed out of the Europa League on away goals at the hands of Russian outfit Zenit Saint Petersburg despite a 3-1 win at Anfield.
     
Two goals down from the first leg, Liverpool looked out for the count after veteran defender Jamie Carragher fluffed an attempted backpass and Brazilian Hulk slipped home the opener to make it 3-0 on aggregate for the visitors.
     
But Liverpool roared back with two goals from Luis Suarez with Joe Allen netting another in between, but the extra goal would not come as Zenit reached the last 16.
     
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was defiant, saying: "We may have lost the battle tonight, but in terms of the war and going forward we're very much winning."
     
Deposed European champions Chelsea had to settle for a home draw against Sparta Prague having won the away leg 1-0 after Eden Hazard's late effort cancelled out David Lafata's opener.
     
Chelsea captain John Terry said: "We're delighted to go through, it wasn't our best performance but we're through and that's all that matters."
     
Aside from Liverpool's anguish it was a successful night for the English contingent with a last-gasp goal from Mousa Dembele booking a last 16 berth for Tottenham, a superlative strike rescuing a 3-2 aggregate win over French hosts Lyon after a 1-1 draw.
     
Spurs, who now face Inter Milan, had won the opening encounter 2-1 but trailed for much of the match to a 17th-minute goal from Maxime Gonalons before Dembele struck to save the Londoners from going the way of Liverpool.

(Agencies)

Latest News from Sports News Desk