Liverpool were again held to a disappointing draw in the Champions League, failing to make their dominance pay against Spartak Moscow in Russia.
Spartak Moscow 1-1 Liverpool
Champions League Matchday 2, Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow
September 26, 2017
Coutinho 30′ (assist – Mane)
Klopp was able to name the attacking quartet of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in the same lineup for the first time in a competitive fixture, giving the Reds’ teamsheet a very exciting look.
After a slow start in an intense atmosphere, Liverpool started to dominate possession and created chances against a Spartak team who defended deep and compact.
However, after half-chances for Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Spartak took the lead against the run of play with a free-kick on 23 minutes.
Fernando fired home the free-kick from 25 yards after a foul by Coutinho – but the Spartak move had all started when Emre Can, already on a booking for a daft foul, dallied on the ball and eventually gave it away down the right.
There were questions over Karius’ failure to get over to the shot, which, while powerful, was moving back towards the middle of the goal.
The Reds weren’t behind for long, with Coutinho equalising on the half hour. A lovely move saw the Brazilian fire in after a one-two with Mane down the left.
- Klopp names Coutinho, Mane, Salah & Firmino in same XI for first time in a competitive game
- Reds again wasteful in attack
Shortly before half-time, Liverpool broke four vs. two on the counter attack but somehow couldn’t finish; Alexander-Arnold played in Henderson, whose cross played in Mane but he was just adjudged to be offside; Salah missed at the back post anyway.
Half-time saw the scores level, despite Liverpool’s dominance. A familiar story.
The half time shot map.
Liverpool FC, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/xsDLoVi6eV
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) September 26, 2017
The second half saw Liverpool continue to dominate and Coutinho forced a save from the keeper low down from a free-kick from the edge of the box.
Patience was required, but when chances did arrive Liverpool failed to hit the target and work the substitute keeper after injury to Rebrov.
The big chance fell for Sturridge in the 90th minute, but he volleyed over.
Deep into eight minutes of injury time, the sub keeper produced a superb save to deny Salah from Alexander-Arnold’s cross, but it was another miss for the Reds.
It was another frustrating European night after the draw against Sevilla on matchday one and a familiar story with chances not taken.
TIA Man of the Match: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Referee: Clement Turpin