Fearless Beşiktaş knock out Liverpool on penalties
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Beşiktaş JK 1-0 Liverpool FC (agg: 1-1, Beşiktaş win 5-4 on pens)
Ten years on from the 2005 UEFA Champions League final at this venue, the Reds lost to their hosts on spot kicks.
Article top media content
• Beşiktaş converted five out of five penalties to secure a famous victory
• Dejan Lovren blazed the decisive penalty over after nine successful spot kicks
• Liverpool lose at venue where they won the 2005 UEFA Champions League final
• Tolgay Arslan forces extra time in front of crowd of 63,324
• Follow Friday's round of 16 draw on UEFA.com, with live streaming from 13.00CET
Beşiktaş JK held their nerve with five imperious penalties as they knocked Liverpool FC out of the UEFA Europa League at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium, the very same venue where the Reds won the 2005 UEFA Champions League final.
A beautiful strike from Tolgay Arslan 18 minutes from time forced the game into an additional half an hour, but it took a shoot-out to separate the sides. Ten years ago, it all went right for the Reds at this ground and, while they initially did not put a foot wrong from the spot, nor did Beşiktaş. After nine successful conversions, Dejan Lovren stepped up and blazed over.
What will be remembered as one of Beşiktaş's finest nights began calmly enough amid a contained first half, but in front of a bumper crowd of 63,000 the second leg slowly gathered pace. Slaven Bilić's side – trailing 1-0 after the first instalment – were forcing the issue and after a couple of long-range sighters, Arslan broke through.
It was a lovely team effort. Gökhan Töre cut inside from the left and delivered to Demba Ba, who classily back-heeled to Arslan. Only 11 minutes into his European debut, the midfielder's first-time effort from the edge of the box gave Simon Mignolet no chance as it found the top corner.
Arslan almost created a winner right at the end of regular time as well, the 24-year-old slaloming through the Liverpool defence and forcing a corner on the left. From the following set piece, Demba Ba's close-range shot ricocheted off the bar. Liverpool had a reprieve, but there was no chance for another when Lovren blazed over 45 minutes later.