Liverpool were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Sevilla in their first group game of the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Liverpool 2-2 Sevilla
Champions League Group Stage, Anfield
September 13, 2017
Ben Yedder 5′
Firmino 21′ (assist – Moreno)
Salah 37′ (no assist)
After a three-year break, Liverpool returned to Europe’s elite on Wednesday night, as Jurgen Klopp led his side back to the top tier.
Taking on their Europa League final opponents from 2016, Sevilla, at Anfield, the Reds will have been desperate to take revenge and get their first three points in Group E.
Looking to respond to that defeat and kick off their Champions League campaign positively, Liverpool headed into the clash focused on the victory, but familiar flaws shone through.
- Coutinho returns to bench, Klopp makes three changes
- Ben Yedder strikes to deliver early blow to Liverpool hopes
- Firmino equalises 21 minutes into Champions League debut
- Salah benefits from wicked deflection to put Reds ahead
- Firmino hits post with penalty after Mane brought down
- Correa equalises before Klopp sends on Coutinho
- Gomez sent off late on for two bookable offences
The Reds kicked off to a roar from the Anfield crowd, and Klopp’s side started strongly, with Emre Can testing Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico in the first minute.
But it was the away side who struck first, and after only five minutes, with Wissam Ben Yedder prodding home from a low cross, after a horrific error from Lovren in the six-yard box.
This certainly took the Reds by surprise, but they gathered themselves and responded, with ex-Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno playing a neat one-two with Jordan Henderson and threading the cross for Roberto Firmino to convert.
Liverpool continued to dominate, though struggled to find a breakthrough, but Mohamed Salah was able to craft his own opening, winning the ball back off Steven N’Zonzi 30 yards out.
The Egyptian benefited from a wild deflection off new Sevilla centre-back Simon Kjaer, with the ball soaring beyond Rico and into the top corner to put the Reds 2-1 up.
Klopp’s side had another great opportunity on 41 minutes when Sadio Mane wrestled down in the box by Nicolas Pareja, but Firmino cracked the woodwork with his penalty kick.
The Reds kept up the momentum heading into the second half, with both Salah and Mane proving troubling for Sevilla, and Joel Matip going close with a long, mazy run from deep.
While the Liga side continued to battle on the pitch, signs of frustration showed off it, with manager Eduardo Berizzo sent to the stands for twice throwing the ball away from Joe Gomez at a throw-in.
Anfield sang “adios, adios, adios” as the Argentine made his way out of the technical area, but his best player on the night, Joaquin Correa, equalised with less than 20 minutes to play.
Klopp’s response was to send on Philippe Coutinho, with the Brazilian replacing Can to make his first appearance of the season.
But he was unable to influence the result, and the Reds stuttered to a frustrating halt, compounded by a late red card for Gomez on his Champions League debut.
TIA Man of the Match: Alberto Moreno
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)