Liverpool produced a Jekyll-and-Hyde display as they fell to a 3-3 draw away to Sevilla in their penultimate group game in the Champions League.
Sevilla 3-3 Liverpool
Champions League Group E, Matchday 5, Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan
November 21, 2017
Goals: Ben Yedder 51′, 60′ (pen), Pizarro 90+3′; Firmino 2′ 30′, Mane 23′
Loris Karius – 5 (out of 10)
Called into action on 18 minutes, saving tremendously from close range with a strong left hand to deny Nolito after Jordan Henderson had gifted the Sevilla attack with a golden opportunity.
When Sevilla started their aggressive spell he commanded his area, could do little for either of the two quick opposition goals but should have done a lot better in stopping the equaliser—seemed to jump over the ball when it was easier to save.
Joe Gomez – 7 (Man of the Match)
Tackled well throughout the game, read the situation on his side to a high level. The Spanish didn’t target his side as a weakness.
A few early hesitations seemed to give Nolito space but he quickly adapted to shut down and deny further danger.
When those around him capitulated he appeared to keep his head; a good sign as we look to how the defensive unity can improve.
Dejan Lovren – 7
A quiet first half due to a mixture of Sevilla’s woefulness and the Liverpool midfield just being in full control.
Was called into action in the first minute of the second half, clearing the ball with a beautifully timed tackle averted the danger immediately.
Read the danger well in the air, backs to the wall for the majority of the second half. Must be despondent that an overall good individual performance was not matched by his peers.
Ragnar Klavan – 6
Looked assured as his centre-back partner for half the game, cleared the ball well on early Sevilla set-pieces and tidied up every lose moment.
Kept his cool once Sevilla had got a lifeline and looked to be the main communicator of the two central defenders.
Wobbled at the final hurdle and half-cleared a ball which led directly to the equaliser.
Alberto Moreno – 3
Needs to curb the crazy element of his game, gave away a needless free-kick in a dangerous position then failed to pick up his man—the result was a goal which lifted the entire stadium.
However, then had the tenacity to read a dangerous situation and cleared the ball from under the bar.
Fast-forward five minutes and it’s an idiotic challenge after losing the ball that results in a penalty.
Hooked moments later in a replay of Basel. It will be interesting to see if he can recover from this quickly or if he will be sidelined for Andrew Robertson.
Jordan Henderson – 4
Almost gifted Sevilla with an equaliser but was bailed out by Karius, then played a sumptuous ball into Roberto Firmino who was unlucky not to score his second on 23 minutes.
Pressed exceptionally well and high up the pitch, first-half performance was one of the best 45 minutes he’s shown this season.
Had a wobble when Sevilla scored two quick goals and then went missing, not what you need from a captain at all.
Had five fewer touches than Karius overall and slumped to a 55 percent pass completion.
An assist after 90 seconds and then preceded to bully the Spanish midfield for the entire first half.
Looked shellshocked after the two quick opposition goals and proceeded to drift away. From the moment the second Sevilla goal hit the net he disappeared.
Once again the Brazilian was spraying passes around with the inside, outside, laces and pretty much every other part of his boots.
Fed the front three for the first 45 minutes and looked a cut above anyone from the opposition side, unmatched and unrivalled until he made way for a more defensive shape.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Continued his somewhat amazing form and was influential throughout the first half.
Showed the defensive ability of his game when the substitutions were made, still looked to break at speed when the situation was applicable.
Went close in the last 20 minutes to scoring an important fourth, then played Emre Can in who was also unlucky not to score.
Sadio Mane – 7
Similar story to the other members of the front three—excellent first half and a subdued second due to the Sevilla resurgence.
Carved out a decent opportunity with a half-volley inside the box which looked destined to nestle in the top corner, unfortunately it just went wide.
Roberto Firmino – 7
A dynamic 45-minute performance from the Liverpool No. 9 was kick-started by a goal after just 88 seconds.
Firmino regularly puts in a hard shift, and his evening in Spain was no different. He worked tirelessly and was rewarded with two goals and an assist.
Audacious enough to smash a no-look finish into an empty net to heap further misery on the three-time Europa League winners.
Fed off scraps for the majority of the second half, should have done better with the chance gifted to him when the pressure was on, didn’t.
James Milner (on for Moreno, 62′) – 7
Brought on to curb the madness of Moreno—definition of being thrown into the lion’s den. May now find himself back in the left-back position.
Emre Can (on for Coutinho, 62′) – 4
Trusted by Klopp to shore up the defensive element of the midfield, completely switched off in the 93rd minute and let his man score the gut-wrenching equaliser—this after he missed a good chance to make it 2-4. An appearance to forget.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Salah, 87′) – 6 – N/A
Subs not used: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Sturridge, Solanke
Jurgen Klopp – 6
Must be tearing his hair out, individual errors by his players (again) have let a valuable win slip away, this time in the Champions League.
Could have read the danger Moreno had morphed into a liability slightly earlier and perhaps the second goal doesn’t arrive as quickly.