Bordeaux 1-1 Liverpool: Reds held in Europa League opener

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Liverpool drew 1-1 with Bordeaux in the Europa League on Thursday evening, with Jussie’s late goal cancelling out Adam Lallana‘s opener.

BORDEAUX, FRANCE - Thursday, September 17, 2015: Liverpool's Adam Lallana celebrates scoring the first goal against FC Girondins de Bordeaux during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Bordeaux 1–1 Liverpool

Europa League – Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux – Thursday 17th September 2015

Goals: Lallana (65); Jussie (81)

Pre-match

Simon Mignolet, Joe Gomez and Emre Can were the only three players who Rodgers kept in the side to face the Ligue 1 outfit, as the Reds opened their Europa League campaign in France.

Mamadou Sakho captained Liverpool on his return to the team, while Kolo Toure, Alberto Moreno, Jordon Ibe, Jordan Rossiter, Philippe Coutinho, Lallana and Divock Origi also started proceedings.

Rodgers deployed the 3-4-2-1 formation that brought much success last season, in a bid to improve his side’s stuttering form.

Ibe and Moreno were used in wing-back roles, with Coutinho and Lallana supporting Origi in attack.

BORDEAUX, FRANCE - Thursday, September 17, 2015: Liverpool and FC Girondins de Bordeaux players before the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

First-half

Coutinho dragged an early effort just wide, following good hold-up play from Origi, while an acrobatic Can effort was easily caught by Cedric Carrasso.

Diego Rolan almost put the hosts ahead soon after, but lofted his finish over the crossbar, and Wahbi Khazri also came close to opening the scoring.

Pedro Chirivella replaced the injured Toure in the 27th minute to make his debut, with Can slotting in at centre-back alongside Sakho and Gomez.

After a promising start, Liverpool began to look a little lifeless in attack, with chances few and far between in dangerous areas.

Lallana was played in by Ibe just before the break, but the 27-year-old delayed shooting, blowing a wonderful chance to give the Reds a half-time lead. Coutinho then thundered a wonderful shot against the post from distance.

It was goalless at the interval, despite that late flourish, and it had been a fairly uninspiring opening 45 minutes.

BORDEAUX, FRANCE - Thursday, September 17, 2015: Liverpool's players line up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux. Front row L-R: Joe Gomez, Kolo Toure, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Emre Can, Jordon Ibe, Divock Origi. Front row L-R: Alberto Moreno, Philippe Coutinho Coreia, Jordan Rossiter, Mamadou Sakho, Adam Lallana. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Second-half

Rodgers’ men controlled the opening 10 minutes of the second-half, although a lack of chances was again rather alarming.

Lallana’s fierce strike from close-range was saved by Carrasso near the hour mark, while Rossiter’s 20-yard volley was tame shortly after.

Nicolas Maurice-Belay missed a wonderful chance to give Bordeaux the lead, but Mignolet did very well to thwart the 30-year-old.

With 25 minutes remaining, Liverpool were ahead. Lallana’s brilliant nutmeg and slick finish was a rare moment of class in a contest lacking quality, and was arguably his finest goal for the club so far.

Substitute Danny Ings nearly scored a sublime effort within seconds of entering the fray, but his low shot was thwarted by the impressive Carrasso.

With 10 minutes left on the clock the scores were level, as substitute Jussie finished emphatically after Gomez and Can had not dealt with the danger inside the penalty area. The Reds were back to square one.

That’s the way it stayed until the final whistle, despite a few late half-chances, with Liverpool returning home with a deserved point.

Norwich await in the Premier League at Anfield on Sunday.

BORDEAUX, FRANCE - Thursday, September 17, 2015: Liverpool's Emre Can in action against FC Girondins de Bordeaux during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Toure (Chirivella ‘270, Sakho, Ibe, Can, Rossiter (Brannagan ’80), Moreno, Coutinho, Lallana, Origi (Ings ’73).

Subs not used: Bogdan, Firmino, Randall, Cleary

Bordeaux: Carrasso, Gajic (Guilbert ’86), Pablo, Pallois, Poundje, Chantome, Maurice-Belay, Khazri (Jussie ’69), Rolan, Saivet (Poko ’76), Crivelli.

Subs not used: Prior, Yambere, Traore, Kiese Thelin.

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