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Liverpool 3 Zenit 1 (agg 3-3): match report

Liverpool 3 Zenit 1 (agg 3-3): Reds bow out on away goals at Anfield despite Suarez's free-kick brace

PUBLISHED:

21:56 GMT, 21 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:56 GMT, 21 February 2013

Liverpool's Europa League campaign ended on Thursday night despite a spirited effort in their attempt to score the four goals needed against Zenit to progress.

Jamie Carragher's error allowed Hulk to score a priceless away goal for the Russians in the 19th minute and give Liverpool a mountain to climb.

A free-kick from Luis Suarez followed by a goal from Joe Allen gave Liverpool a 2-1 lead at half-time, but they still needed two goals without response in the second half to progress.

But, despite Suarez scoring a second free-kick early in the second half, Liverpool couldn't force a fourth goal.

More to follow

Beauty: Luis Suarez curled in a free-kick in front of the Kop to put Liverpool 3-1 ahead on the night

Beauty: Luis Suarez curled in a free-kick in front of the Kop to put Liverpool 3-1 ahead on the night

Beauty: Luis Suarez curled in a free-kick in front of the Kop to put Liverpool 3-1 ahead on the night

MATCH FACTS

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Allen (Shelvey 59), Downing (Sterling 84), Gerrard, Henderson (Assaidi 59), Suarez.

Subs not used: Gulacsi, Coates, Suso, Wisdom.

Booked: Shelvey.

Goals: Suarez 28, 59, Allen 43.

Zenit St Petersburg: Malafeev, Aniukov, Luis Neto, Lombaerts (Criscito 46), Hubocan, Witsel, Denisov, Shirokov, Danny (Faitzulin 46), Hulk, Semak (Rodic 84).

Subs not used: Zhevnov, Bruno Alves, Bukharov, Kerzhakov.

Booked: Denisov.

Goals: Hulk 19.

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)

Latest Europa League results, fixtures and stats

Joe Allen believes Liverpool can improve in the Premier League if they can replicate QPR masterclass

Allen believes Liverpool can bring back success to Anfield if they can replicate QPR masterclass

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 31 December 2012

Joe Allen believes there are 'exciting times ahead' for Liverpool if they can start producing performances like yesterday's at QPR on a regular basis.

The Reds dominated at Loftus Road, impressing from start to finish as they romped to a 3-0 victory despite manager Brendan Rodgers' enforced absence.

Luis Suarez struck twice in the opening 16 minutes, before Daniel Agger netted in a first half in which Liverpool completely outplayed the hosts.

Engine: Allen was instrumental in Liverpool comfortable victory at Loftus road

Engine: Allen was instrumental in Liverpool comfortable victory at Loftus road

They tapered off after the break but their level of speed and skill in the opening 45 minutes is something summer signing Allen believes bodes well for the Anfield club.

'That is what we're aiming to do in every game.'

'If we can get that level of performance as consistently as possible then we have some exciting times ahead.

'I am extremely pleased. We had a disappointing result, as everyone knows, away to Stoke so it is always important to bounce back first and foremost with a good performance.

'To score three goals and keep a clean sheet is a massive bonus.

'It was a good team performance but when you've got a player like Luis Suarez that can create and score goals out of nothing, it is a pretty big help.'

As impressive as Liverpool were, there is no doubt QPR let themselves down yesterday.

That, though, is not something Allen is keen to focus on, instead pointing to the performance he and his team-mates produced.

'We like to focus on ourselves,' he said.

'When you come away and get a victory like this, it is obviously a massive boost to our confidence.

'I think we like to take credit maybe for the way we played and making it hard for them.'

The victory was made all the more impressive by the fact they did it without manager Rodgers.

The Reds boss was sent home from London ill, so assistant manager Colin Pascoe and coach Mike Marsh were on the sidelines instead.

Talisman: Suarez tore QPR apart in the first-half on Sunday

Talisman: Suarez tore QPR apart in the first-half on Sunday

'I think when things like this happen it is a bit of a shock,' Allen added.

'It sets you back a little bit but we've got great staff here and people that can step in.

'They can obviously do a great job and as players we are professional enough to get on with things.'

The win moved Liverpool up to ninth in the standings, while QPR's predicament gets worse by the game.

The bottom-place side have now won just one of their 20 Premier League outings this season, leaving them eight points adrift of safety.

Redknapp was quick to talk up QPR's chances of survival after the game, but admits he had to bring on defensive midfielder Shaun Derry for Djibril Cisse at half-time in a bid to protect his side's goal difference.

Subsitute: Colin Pascoe took charge of the team after Brendan Rodgers was sidelined through illness

Subsitute: Colin Pascoe took charge of the team after Brendan Rodgers was sidelined through illness

'In the second half it became a case of damage limitation,' he said.

'You can't be stupid about it.

'What can you do Open up and say you're going to score four goals in the second half against a side like that

'Sometimes you've got to be realistic. No one wants to attack more than I do but when you're up against a team that can cut through you like we were, you have to be realistic.

Reinforcements: Redknapp is targeting new players in the January transfer window including West Ham's Mohamed Diame

Reinforcements: Redknapp is targeting new players in the January transfer window including West Ham's Mohamed Diame

'I thought we had some good movement in the second half and created a couple of good opportunities, played some decent stuff, but it's not easy.'

It is clear that QPR need fresh faces if they are to beat the drop, with Redknapp recently admitting an interest in bringing former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka back to west London.

Reports have also suggested the Rs boss wants to be reunited with Joe Cole, a player he managed at West Ham, although last week he insisted there had been no contact with the Liverpool player.

Today has also seen QPR linked to West Ham's Mohamed Diame, Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila and Marseille's Loic Remy, although persuading them to join the league's bottom-place side may prove a tough task.

Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling need to be rested – Brendan Rodgers

Allen and Sterling are exhausted but I can't afford to rest them, admits Rodgers

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UPDATED:

08:52 GMT, 17 December 2012

Brendan Rodgers has admitted a lack of options in his squad is preventing Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen being given the rest they need to recapture top form.

Sterling, 18, and Allen, 22, had their least ineffective games of the season during Saturday’s 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa at Anfield and the Liverpool manager accepted the pair’s level of play has started to taper off.

Since making his full debut against Manchester City in August, Sterling has played 1,411 minutes in the Barclays Premier League, while Allen has been on the pitch for all bar 25 minutes of Liverpool’s 17 games. Both men have also had varying international commitments through the campaign.

Breaking point: Liverpool's Joe Allen (left) is in need of a rest

Breaking point: Liverpool's Joe Allen (left) is in need of a rest

The dilemma facing Rodgers, though, is difficult to solve. He does not have another player with Sterling’s speed and skill to make a like-for-like change, while Rodgers feels Allen fulfils a crucial in helping Liverpool retain possession. Ideally, however, both would currently be on the bench.

‘I think there is an element of (fatigue) but not with (someone like) Luis (Suarez),’ said Rodgers. ‘He’s at his best when he is playing regular. He will tell you himself, if he was playing one game a week he would lose his rhythm – he likes to play lots of games.

‘But I think there are others we need to give a break. There is no doubt Raheem is one who does need that breather. I've thought about it over the past couple of weeks. In order to do that you need to have that depth to take him out and put somebody else in.

Young gun: Raheem Sterling has been a regular for the Anfield side

Young gun: Raheem Sterling has been a regular for the Anfield side

‘That's something I'm thinking about – who to put in. He's a naturally very, very fit boy but he needs that mental rest as well. For the kid as well, it's about efficiency as well, tactically he's still very young. That time will come and he will get the breather soon enough.

‘There is no doubt after working with Joe (before at Swansea) and seeing him (now), he’s another one. If we're honest, there are a few who could do with that breather, especially mentally. It's something for sure I need to have a wee look at.

‘This was a game where we had to get an early goal and make Villa come out. We had a wee bit of lethargy. I don't know why because it's one of the first weeks we've had without a midweek game, and we couldn't have had a better week.’

Main man: Christian Benteke secured Aston Villa's win over Liverpool

Main man: Christian Benteke secured Aston Villa's win over Liverpool

Liverpool’s charge towards the top six was unceremoniously checked by a vibrant Aston Villa side and they had no answer to the power and presence of Christian Benteke, who scored two goals and set up the other for Andreas Weimann.

Steven Gerrard’s consolation at least spared Rodgers the ignominy of being on the end of Liverpool’s worst Anfield defeat since October 2005 but it was scant consolation for Rodgers, who said he had never felt more disappointed during the six months he has been in charge.

‘I find it hard to know where that performance came from to be honest,’ said Rodgers. ‘In some ways it was the most disappointing game we've had since I came here. We couldn't have arrived in the game on a better moment.

‘But we must learn from this that no matter which team you play against, you have to be right on it. We weren't we were careless in our play. In the opening period if we take a couple of them chances it's a different game. We didn't we were punished. We must learn.’

Cambridge City 0 MK Dons 0: Dominant Dons unable to make chances count

Cambridge City 0 MK Dons 0: Dominant Dons unable to make chances count

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UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 2 November 2012

MK Dons were unable to make the most of their dominance as their FA Cup tie at Cambridge City finished goalless.

Stephen Gleeson headed against the post from Adam Chicksen's cross before the frame of the goal came to the hosts' rescue again with seven minutes left as Luke Chadwick's terrific strike crashed back of the upright.

On the ball: MK Dons' Dean Lewington in action with Cambridge City's Luke Allen

On the ball: MK Dons' Dean Lewington in action with Cambridge City's Luke Allen

The visitors were left frustrated by their Southern League opponents, for whom Zac Barrett was heroic in goal.

The two sides now face a replay at stadium:mk.

TMS to cover England tour of India after BBC agree deal

Test Match Special WILL cover England's tour to India after fee deadlock broken

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UPDATED:

13:30 GMT, 1 November 2012

Cricket lovers are breathing a sigh of relief after the BBC reached a deal with the Indian cricket board to broadcast Test Match Special coverage of England's tour to India.

The Beeb's iconic cricket commentary team had threatened to go silent over what they called 'unreasonable demands' being made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to broadcast the series.

The BCCI was reportedly demanding the BBC an extra 50,000 to cover radio production costs at the four Tests in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Nagpur and Kolkata.

Voice of TMS: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew (right)

Voice of TMS: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew (right)

The Corporation had stood firm over the demands, and TMS producer Adam Mountford revealed on Twitter: 'We are pleased to confirm that Test Match Special will broadcast England's cricket tour of India from the grounds.'

Sofa wars: Editor of The Cricketer defends Test Match Sofa in row with BBC's Test Match Special

Click here to read the full story.

Sky were also asked for an additional 500,000 to install television studios at each ground but intend to use the voices of Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain, commentating in a west London studio, over pictures fed by Indian host broadcaster Star Sports.

TMS were reluctant to follow Sky's lead due to the similar service provided by Test Match Sofa website, which provides commentary from south west London based on a TV feed.

Iconic: The BBC's Test Match Special is revered by cricket lovers

Iconic: The BBC's Test Match Special is revered by cricket lovers thanks to its brilliant commentary team and lunchtime guests, such as Lily Allen (below)

Special guest: Lily Allen speaks on Test Match Special

A row broke out on Thursday between current BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, the TMS anchor, and Andrew Miller, editor of The Cricketer magazine, over the latter's defence of Test Match Sofa, which was published on MailOnline.

Agnew has threatened to boycott the magazine over Miller's article, and received support from England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad on Twitter.

TMS has attracted a devoted following since it took to the airwaves in 1957, thanks to the likes of legendary broadcasters John Arlott, Brian Johnston and Agnew.

Among those joining Agnew on TMS's commentary team in India will be Henry Blofeld, Simon Mann, Prakash Wakankar, Geoffrey Boycott and Victor Marks.

Brendan Rodgers: Swansea fans will respect Joe Allen

Swansea fans will respect returning Allen, says Liverpool boss Rodgers

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UPDATED:

07:06 GMT, 31 October 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Swansea fans have no reason to begrudge midfielder Joe Allen his move to Anfield.

The 22-year-old followed the former Swans boss to Merseyside in the summer after the Northern Irishman replaced Kenny Dalglish in June.

Having come through the south Wales club's youth system fans felt they had lost one of their own.

Saint or Sinner Allen makes his first return to South Wales in the League Cup

Saint or Sinner Allen makes his first return to South Wales in the League Cup

However, Rodgers believed his former side, visitors to Anfield in the Capital One Cup tonight, did pretty well out of the Carmarthen-born Wales international.

'I think he'll get a very good reception,' said the Reds boss of the expected visiting supporters' reaction.

'He's a kid that has come through the system there, he gave everything to the club in his time.

'He progressed into the first team, then left. Okay, the supporters are probably disappointed that he went but he has actually given them 15million plus a lot more in all his time there.

'I think the supporters will respect that. He's a wonderful talent and he was brilliant in my time there, the two years. I think they will react accordingly.'

Allen may yet be denied the chance to face his former side as Rodgers will rotate his starting line-up after a busy 10 days.

That gives chances to the likes of Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing – who have been restricted to bit-part roles this season – and others.

'Of course everyone wants to play in the Barclays Premier League team but Jordan's a wonderful talent and he's got a great future here,' said Rodgers.

'He might not be playing as much as he has done but his appetite, application and willingness to learn and improve has really been fantastic.

Defending champions: Rodgers has no intention of letting the cup slip away easily

Defending champions: Rodgers has no intention of letting the cup slip away easily

'So him and the other guys that are on the outside, of course they're not happy that they're not playing but their attitude and desire to work hard has been incredible.

'We're fighting on a lot of fronts at the moment. We're making progress going up the mountain, as they say.

'We're in a competition that the club won last year. For us it's an opportunity.

'The players as a group are very tight and the spirit is very strong, and this gives us an opportunity to ensure that those players can maintain their motivation by playing in important games for us.

'We have the (League Cup) trophy here and we don't want to give it up easy.'

Meanwhile, Garry Monk hopes Swansea fans will remember Rodgers' contribution to the club tonight.

Monk was Swansea club captain for Rodgers' two seasons at the helm, and he hopes the fans will remember the service the Northern Irishman did in getting them over the final hurdle into the Barclays Premier League.

Leap of faith: Rodgers guided the Swans in to the Premeir League

Leap of faith: Rodgers guided the Swans in to the Premeir League

The defender said: 'When you look at it, it is the hardest hurdle to make it from the Championship to the Premier League, and then to sustain it.

'We managed to sustain it convincingly during the first season and that has given us the platform to push on into the second season.

'It is important the fans remember that but we are there to win a game, all that matters is what we do as Swansea City.

'I think if a few want to show their views that is up to them but the main thing I would say to the fans is back the team from start to finish, whatever you do before or after game is entirely up to them, but during that 90 minutes just focus on the boys on the field as that is all that matters.'

Gerard Houllier lauds Brendan Rodgers" Anfield revolution

Former Liverpool boss Houllier lauds Rodgers' youthful Anfield revolution

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UPDATED:

10:15 GMT, 30 October 2012

Gerard Houllier has hailed Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers for showing faith in youth as he looks to rebuild the Anfield club's fortunes.

The likes of winger Raheem Sterling, 17, attacking midfielder Suso, 18, and defender Andre Wisdom, 19, have all worked their way into Rodgers' first-team this season.

And former Liverpool boss Houllier – who was in charge at Anfield from 1998 to 2004 – believes that Rodgers' approach will pay dividends in the long run.

Revolution: Rodgers has overseen major changes at Liverpool since arriving

Revolution: Rodgers has overseen major changes at Liverpool since arriving

'I am pleased with the way Brendan makes the team play,' the Frenchman told Liverpoolfc.com.

'He plays the right way and I’m pleased he’s given a chance to some of the young players. Some are very good.

'Sterling could be a major player for the club in the future and at the moment he just needs to be a little more composed, particularly in the final move of his game.

Wing wizard: Sterling has been in outstanding form this season

Wing wizard: Sterling has been in outstanding form this season

'Suso, Andre Wisdom and Joe Allen are all good players and it’s very good for the future of the club.'

Houllier was at Goodison Park for Sunday's 2-2 Merseyside derby draw and he feels that the Reds were unlucky given that Luis Suarez had a late winner wrongly ruled out for offside.

'Liverpool posed a major problem to Everton in changing the system in the second half and I thought Brendan was very clever,' said the 65-year-old.

Ruled out: Suarez was denied a winner in stoppage time at Goodison Park

Ruled out: Suarez was denied a winner in stoppage time at Goodison Park

'It really helped the team and in the end they probably could have won it.

'It was a goal. I don’t know what the referee saw there because it wasn’t offside. I thought initially he had given a foul for a push by Coates but the flag was for offside. It wasn’t offside.

'Sometimes things even up. I mean, we’ve got to remember we were lucky that time Sander Westerveld’s clearance hit Don Hutchison in the last minute and went in the net, and that was disallowed.'

Gareth Bale insists he did not dive to win a penalty against Scotland

Bale insists he did not dive to win a penalty for Wales against Scotland

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UPDATED:

21:41 GMT, 13 October 2012

Gareth Bale hit back at claims he dived to win the penalty which sparked Wales’s second-half fightback against Scotland.

Bale, who scored twice in the dramatic 2-1 win in Cardiff, went down under a challenge from Shaun Maloney when there appeared to be minimal contact before Bale clipped his own heels.

But the 23-year-old put the blame at the door of the Wigan wideman, who conceded after the ‘Battle of Britain’ showdown that he was at fault.

Flashpoint: Bale trips over but claims he was clipped by Maloney

Flashpoint: Bale trips over but claims he was clipped by Maloney

Tottenham ace Bale said: ‘Somebody clipped me and I went over. It was a simple penalty and it was nice to get up and slot it away.’

After James Morrison’s 27th-minute opener, Scotland looked set to claim three points before referee Florian Meyer pointed to the spot.

Bale’s Wales team-mate Joe Allen said: ‘My instinct was that it was a penalty. It was a difficult decision, but it looked like his ankle was clipped.’

Spot on: Bale scores the resulting penalty

Spot on: Bale scores the resulting penalty

There was no doubt over Bale’s 88th-minute wonder goal in this all-action Group A contest. It eases the mounting pressure on Wales boss Chris Coleman, who says Bale will go on to join such Welsh greats as John Charles, Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs.

‘It’s not a case of can Gareth be like them, he will be,’ said Coleman.
But Wales are without suspended Aaron Ramsey on Tuesday in Croatia.

Brendan Rodgers says Fabio Borini has been a victim of circumstance at Liverpool

Borini confident he'll become a Liverpool success story despite his slow start

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 3 October 2012

Brendan Rodgers believes he is responsible for the slow start to Fabio Borini’s Liverpool career after admitting the 10million striker has been a victim of circumstance.

While 15million midfielder Joe Allen, Rodger’s other significant summer signing, has quickly become an Anfield favourite, Borini has underwhelmed following his move from AS Roma and is yet to score in the Barclays Premier League.

When the Italian international has started, he has been deployed on the left side of forward three but Rodgers, who worked with Borini at Swansea and Chelsea, feels he is more suited to the central role Luis Suarez occupies.

Chance to shine: Fabio Borini has yet to score for Liverpool since his summer move from Roma

Chance to shine: Fabio Borini has yet to score for Liverpool since his summer move from Roma

Borini will, however, get the opportunity to fill his favoured role on Thursday when Liverpool host Udinese in the Europa League and he will do so on the back of a ringing endorsement from his manager.

‘I have been playing him in his No 2 position,’ said Rodgers, whose side top Group A thanks to an opening day win against Young Boys Berne. ‘He is better through the middle where you can see his qualities of moving off the shoulder and running in behind.

‘My project was to (play him) more (in) these type of competitions, so he could grow himself in to it. But because of where we were at, I’ve had to push him in that wee bit quicker. That is the reality. What I do know is that he has got a strong character. He’s a real good kid and works hard every day.’

Waiting game: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers says Borini will get his chance

Waiting game: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers says Borini will get his chance

PROBABLE TEAMS:

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Jones: Johnson, Carragher, Coates, Robinson: Henderson, Allen, Shelvey: Assaidi, Borini, Downing.

UDINESE (3-5-2): Brkic: Danao, Domizzi, Benatia: Faranoni, Pinzi, Fabbrini, Willians, Asmero: Di Natale, Pereyra.

For his part, Borini is refusing to be disheartened by his goal return – his sole strike came in the third qualifying round of this competition against Belorussian side FC Gomel on August 9 – and Rodgers is similarly indifferent, insisting it is a case of when, rather than if, they will arrive.

‘It is the same with all strikers,’ said Rodgers. ‘Joe plays in a different position. You can see his qualities – they are phenomenal and he is going to be a bargain for the club. Strikers, unfortunately, are judged on goals in games. That is where he is at.

‘But over time, he will prove himself. Regardless of what anyone says, to come to a massive club at 21 years of age is a big ask. But I certainly wouldn’t have brought him here or paid the money if I didn’t think he could do it.’

Late starter: Borini says he tends to score more goals in the second half of the season

Late starter: Borini says he tends to score more goals in the second half of the season

If Rodgers is convinced Borini will be a success in England, the man himself is even surer.

He has a strong bond with Rodgers and described him as his “footballing father figure” when arriving at the club in July.

That Rodgers knows Borini’s game inside out has taken the pressure off the forward but the main reason that Borini is adamant the goals will come is down to the fact history shows he is more prolific in the second part of the season.

‘It’s just a matter of time,’ said Rodgers. ‘The same thing happened last season. I scored one goal before October, then got injured for three months and after that I scored my second goal in January. From January until March I scored eight goals.

‘I know from past experience that the goals will come. In Swansea I scored six goals from March until May. I am always late. But the goals do come. The position I have been playing at Liverpool has been different as well. It hasn’t been as the main striker.’

Liverpool, meanwhile, expected to confirm that Daniel Agger has signed a new long-term contract after negotiations with the Denmark international, who has been playing with a minor fracture in his knee, reached a successful.

The club are also looking to tie down promising midfielder Suso.

Serbia 6 Wales 1

Serbia 6 Wales 1: Kolarov and Co hammer Coleman's side in humiliating second defeat

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UPDATED:

20:40 GMT, 11 September 2012

Wales' World Cup aspirations lie in tatters as this inept display at the Karadjordje Stadium saw them roundly thumped by Serbia.

Woeful defending played a major part in Wales' heaviest defeat since 2006 and Aleksandar Kolarov and Zoran Tosic had the hosts 2-0 up inside 25 minutes.

Gareth Bale gave Wales hope with a stunning free-kick but Filip Duricic got a third for the hosts before the break and Dusan Tadic, Branislav Ivanovic and Miralen Sulejmani completed the rout.

Demolition: Aleksandar Kolarov (No 11) led Serbia to a devastating win over Wales

Demolition: Aleksandar Kolarov (No 11) led Serbia to a devastating win over Wales

MATCH FACTS

Serbia: Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Bisevac, Nastasic, Kolarov, Tadic, Fejsa, Ignjovski (Mijailovic 85 min), Duricic (Lekic 81min), Tosic (Sulejmani 70min), Markovic.

Substitutes not used: Kahriman, Petrovic, Maksimovic, Tomovic, Matic, Ninkovic, Subotic, Lazovic, Brkic.

Goals: Kolarov 16, Tosic 24, Duricic 39, Tadic 55, Ivanovic 80, Sulejmani 90

Wales: Myhill, Gunter, Ashley Williams, Blake, Matthews (Ricketts 45min), Edwards (Vaughan 45min), Allen (King 71min), Ramsey, Bale, Morison, Church.

Substitutes not used: Brown, Davies, Richards, Earnshaw, Vokes,
Jonathan Williams, Robson-Kanu, Price.

Goals: Bale 31

Referee: Duarte Gomes (Portugal)

Wales has been boosted by the return of
Joe Allen as they looked to get their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign
back on track against a resolute Serbia outfit.

The Liverpool midfielder missed
Friday's 2-0 defeat to Belgium through illness but he was back in the
side as the only change to Chris Coleman's starting XI, replacing James
Collins who missed out through suspension.

Serbia boss Sinisa Mihajlovic made
three changes from his team's draw with Scotland as Ljubomir Fejsa,
Lazar Markovic and Dusan Tadic all started in a side including Chelsea's
Branislav Ivanovic and Manchester City's Matija Nastasic and Aleksandar
Kolarov.

Wales started positively with Ashley
Williams heading over from an Aaron Ramsey corner in the sixth minute
and Gareth Bale posing problems down the right flank.

But it took a block from Adam Matthews
to keep out a free header from Nastasic at the other end, before Darcy
Blake came close to putting through his own net with a sliced clearance.

Wales fell behind after 15 minutes when Ivanovic won a free-kick on the right edge of the area.

Kolarov, who had been critical of
Wales in the build-up to the game, stepped up to curl a left-footed
effort over the wall and beyond Boaz Myhill.

Classy: Former Manchester United winger Zoran Tosic scored Serbia's second goal of the night

Classy: Former Manchester United winger Zoran Tosic scored Serbia's second goal of the night

Little to cheer: Gareth Bale (left) scored a wonderful free-kick before succumbing to a humiliating defeat

Little to cheer: Gareth Bale (left) scored a wonderful free-kick before succumbing to a humiliating defeat

And the deficit doubled in the 24th minute with Kolarov turning creator.

The left-back was somehow allowed to
pick his way past Williams and Chris Gunter to get away a shot from near
the byline. Myhill blocked that effort but Tosic converted the
follow-up.

It would have been worse for Wales had
Gunter not blocked Tadic's goalbound effort with the visitors looking
vulnerable almost every time the hosts came forward.

Bale gave them a lifeline just after
the half-hour mark as he picked himself up after being fouled by Milan
Bisevac to thump home a superb swerving free-kick from almost 30 yards.

It was the first goal of Coleman's
stint in charge, but Wales' defensive frailties resurfaced to undermine
their attempt at a recovery.

Blake's awful defensive header allowed Tadic to play in Filip Duricic and he held off Matthews and fired high into Myhill's net.

Not your day: Chris Coleman watched his side take a beating against a strong Serbia side

Not your day: Chris Coleman watched his side take a beating against a strong Serbia side

Whack! Kolarov curled in a beauty to open the scoring for the Serbs

Whack! Kolarov curled in a beauty to open the scoring for the Serbs

Coleman withdrew Matthews, who had
endured a torrid time up against Tadic and Tosic, and David Edwards,
bringing on Sam Ricketts and David Vaughan.

But it made little difference. Aaron
Ramsey gave away the ball cheaply in midfield and only a block from
Gunter prevented some lovely interplay between Markovic, Tadic and
Duricic producing the latter's second of the night.

But Tadic made no mistake in the 55th
minute. Ivanovic dispossessed Bale and beat Ricketts down the right
before sliding the ball across to give Tadic a simple finish.

Tosic went close to grabbing his second after more good work from Duricic, with Ricketts making a vital intervention.

Wales were once again guilty of making problems for themselves when it came to the fifth goal.

Blake surrendered possession on the
edge of their own area, and home skipper Ivanovic capitalised to slide a
right-footed effort into the bottom corner.

Substitute Miralen Sulejmani then rounded off the scoring as his deflected strike looped in over Myhill.

The goal made this Wales' worst result since the 7-1 loss to Holland in 1996, on the most miserable of nights for the visitors.

Humiliated: Serbia scored six goals with six different scorers

Humiliated: Serbia scored six goals with six different scorers

New boy: Manchester City signing Matija Nastasic (right) marshaled Steve Morison well at the back for Serbia

New boy: Manchester City signing Matija Nastasic (right) marshaled Steve Morison well at the back for Serbia