This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Brendan Rodgers couldn't hide his disgust on the touchline. From a position of control, this was sloppy in the extreme for Liverpool.
Liverpool were on the brink of booking their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League as the seconds ticked away at Anfield.
They appeared to have successfully reduced next month's final Group A clash away to Udinese to a dead-rubber. Their mission was so nearly accomplished.
However, one lapse in concentration two minutes from time was ruthlessly punished. There was no pressure on the ball and Elsad Zverotic gleefully accepted the invitation to shoot as he unleashed a 20-yard piledriver past Pepe Reina.
Suddenly, the mood was transformed. Everything is now riding on that trip to Italy on December 6 when Rodgers will have no choice but to include his big guns.
Udinese are out and Anzhi have already qualified after beating the Italians 2-0 in Moscow. Liverpool will join the Russians in the last 32 if they beat the Serie A outfit. A draw will be enough if Young Boys also are held in their final game.
The Reds only had themselves to blame after spurning some glorious opportunities to put the Swiss away.
It was a painful end to a surreal day. Having witnessed Rafa Benitez being unveiled as Chelsea's new boss, there was then the remarkable sight of Joe Cole being afforded a standing ovation. It was richly deserved.
This was arguably Cole's best performance in a Liverpool shirt as he created Jonjo Shelvey's opener and then scored himself after Raul Bobadilla had equalised.
It may not be enough to extend an Anfield career blighted by injuries and poor form beyond January but even so this was some parting gift from Cole.
The former England midfielder could count himself fortunate to be handed another chance by Rodgers following the paucity of his contribution in his past two appearances against Swansea City and Anzhi.
But the decision to play him was vindicated. He worked tirelessly, his movement was much improved and he was a creative force on the right flank as opposed to the passenger he has been previously this term.
Keen to rest his star names ahead of Sunday's league trip to Swansea City, Rodgers had made a raft of changes. There were just four survivors from the side which had beaten Wigan 3-0 at home.
Pepe Reina broke Ray Clemence's club record of most appearances by a goalkeeper in Europe as he started his 81st continental clash. The services of Andre Wisdom, Martin Skrtel and Suso were also retained.
But the lack of depth was once again exposed as by the end he had been forced to call upon Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling.
Young Boys looked set to be Group A's whipping boys after being hammered 5-3 by the Reds' second string in Bern back in September but they arrived at Anfield having re-ignited their European hopes with back to back wins over Udinese.
The Swiss had been indebted to Argentine striker Bobadilla who had netted twice in both games against the Italians.
Rodgers had warned of Young Boys' attacking threat and it was evident from the opening minute.
Straight from the kick-off, Wisdom was caught napping and the Reds were relieved to see Gonzalo
Zarate's acrobatic volley fly over the bar. Bobadilla then forced a low save from Reina who was called into action again to deny Raphael Nuzzolo.
With makeshift striker Shelvey asked to operate in the 'false No 9' position favoured by Spain, the Reds lacked a focal point up front with the youngster dropping deep to get involved.
After a slow start Liverpool belatedly clicked into gear with Nuri Sahin's influence on proceedings growing.
The chances began to come with Shelvey providing a perfectly weighted pass through to Cole who dragged his shot wide of the far post. When Cole was upended by Alain Nef, Jordan Henderson's curling free-kick was comfortably kept out by Marco Wolfli.
The Reds should have broken the deadlock midway through the first half. Shelvey's clever flick from Skrtel's pass left Henderson with just Wolfli to beat but he fired too close to the keeper.
Young Boys' vociferous 3,000 travelling fans received a warm ovation from the Kop after unveiling a banner which read 'In Memory of Hillsborough'.
Rodgers was forced into a reshuffle just past the half hour mark when Wisdom went off with a knee injury. Gerrard was introduced in midfield with Henderson slotting into right-back. With Stewart Downing on the other side it meant Liverpool had £36million worth of talent at full-back.
Liverpool's control continued to grow and 12 minutes before the break they were in front.
It was a slick move as Cole found Suso before continuing his run into the area. The young Spaniard gave it back to Cole, who clipped the ball back across goal for Shelvey to nod home his fourth goal in the competition.
Energised by the breakthrough, the Reds threatened to add to their tally with Suso's deflected shot beating Wolfli but dipping narrowly wide. From Gerrard's ensuing corner, Cole's shot was diverted goalwards by Skrtel but Nuzzolo hacked it off the line.
Just before the interval the Reds should have had breathing space with Cole once again influential.
Shelvey found Cole whose first time pass put Suso in the clear. It was a glorious opportunity for him to open his account for the Reds but he failed to hit the target.
Young Boys started the second half brightly with Farnerud and Elsad Zverotic going close. The visitors continued to look vulnerable defensively but Cole was thwarted by Wolfli after Suso's intelligent through ball.
The Reds were still ruing that miss when the Swiss equalised in the 52nd minute. Bobadilla was allowed to bring down Farnerud's cross-field pass and lash an unstoppable left-footer past Reina. Henderson was the guilty party having allowed Young Boys' 14-goal top scorer to get away from him far too easily.
With the Reds' qualification thrown into doubt, Rodgers turned to Suarez on the hour mark as Suso made way. The Uruguayan's impact was immediate as he helped restore the hosts' lead in the 72nd minute. Suarez picked out Gerrard and the skipper slotted the ball through to Cole, who turned expertly and fired past Wolfli.
It was Cole's first goal for Liverpool since he netted in the 5-0 rout of Birmingham City in April 2011 and his joy was clear as he celebrated with his arms aloft in front of the Kop.
Cole departed soon after to a standing ovation as Raheem Sterling came on but his hero status was taken away from him.
Two minutes from time the Reds were left stunned as Zverotic dispatched a fierce strike past Reina from the edge of the box. Now for the Italian job.
Liverpool FC (4-3-3): Reina, Wisdom (Gerrard 31), Skrtel, Carragher, Downing, Henderson, Sahin, Suso (Suarez 60), Cole (Sterling 75), Shelvey, Assaidi. Not used: Jones, Enrique, Coates, Allen.
Young Boys (4-2-3-1): Wolfli, Sutter, Nef, Veskovac (Ojala 23), Lecjaks, Zverotic, Farnerud, Zarate, Schneuwly (Vitkieviez 82), Nuzzolo (Frey 77), Bobadilla. Not used: Mvogo, Gonzalez, Costanzo, Doubai.