22 Nov Liverpool surrender three-goal lead to draw at Sevilla
Liverpool conceded a three-goal half-time lead to throw away the chance of early Champions League qualification as Sevilla netted a 93rd-minute equaliser in Spain.
Famous for their three-goal second-half comeback to win this competition in Istanbul in 2005, the Merseysiders endured the reverse as, seemingly coasting towards the knockout stage with a game to spare, they were forced to settle for a point.
Roberto Firmino scored either side of a goal from Sadio Mane in an opening 45 minutes which could not have been better scripted for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
However, a worrying wobble saw them concede twice to Wissam Ben Yedder – one a twice-taken penalty – in the 15 minutes after the interval and, with the memory of their Europa League final defeat to the same opposition 18 months ago in a similar manner still raw, Guido Pizarro drilled home an added-time corner.
What they said
Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo: “I told them you had to play with your soul, that there is no mistake that could not be solved. We talked about rectifying, showing the pride we have, and that if we got the goal soon it was possible. We took the risk of going for the game and that speaks of the football bravery of the players.”Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “Fantastic first half for us, the second half we made a mistake, we didn’t carry on playing football. We became passive, they scored the first, then it was obvious the atmosphere changed immediately. They are human beings. It was misjudgement.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Roberto Firmino
Has often been overshadowed this season by the flying exploits of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane but the work he puts in up front is invaluable to the team. Unfortunately his colleagues behind him undid most of his good work.
Surprise of the match
Liverpool scoring from two corners. It has arguably been their Achilles heel – at both ends of the pitch – for several years but on this occasion they were executed perfectly.
Liverpool have now scored 11 away goals in this season’s Champions League, equalling the English record for most in the group phase set by Manchester United in 1998/99 – the season they won it.
Sevilla: Sergio Rico 7, Gabriel Mercado 6, Johannes Geis 5, Clement Lenglet 5, Sergio Escudero 5, Steven N’Zonzi 5, Ever Banega 8, Guido Pizarro 6, Pablo Serabia 6, Wissam Ben Yedder 8, Nolito 6. Subs: Joaquin Correa (for Ben Yedder, 80 mins) 6, Luis Muriel (for Nolito, 73 mins) 6, Franco Vazquez (for N’Zonzi, 45 mins) 8.Liverpool: Loris Karius 6, Joe Gomez 6, Dejan Lovren 7, Ragnar Klavan 7, Alberto Moreno 4, Jordan Henderson 7, Georginio Wijnaldum 7, Philippe Coutinho 7, Mohamed Salah 7, Roberto Firmino 8, Sadio Mane 8. Subs: James Milner (for Moreno, 64 mins) 7, Emre Can (for Coutinho, 64 mins) 7, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (for Salah, 87 mins) 5.
Who’s up next?
Liverpool v Chelsea (Premier League, Saturday November 25)
Villarreal v Sevilla (LaLiga, Sunday November 26)