Liverpool held by Sevilla on Champions League return
Liverpool’s first game in the Champions League since 2014 ended in a draw with Sevilla at Anfield.
In a repeat of the 2016 Europa League final, which the Spaniards won in Basel, Argentine midfielder Joaquin Correa cut through the Liverpool defence and curled home a cool finish to clinch a point.
It had taken Sevilla just five minutes to take the lead as Wissam Ben Yedder tapped in from close range after home defender Dejan Lovren fell over while trying to clear the ball.
Sadio Mane tested visiting goalkeeper Sergio Rico with a low drive as Liverpool looked to get back into the game, and they managed to do so when Roberto Firmino finished off a fine team move from close range.
The five-time winners continued to push forward and were rewarded as Mohamed Salah’s strike looped in via a huge deflection off Simon Kjaer, but then Firmino, presented with the chance to give the home side breathing space, struck a penalty against the post.
Georginio Wijnaldum came close with a low drive in the second half but the English side were punished for not adding to their advantage when they conceded with 18 minutes remaining.
Luis Muriel could have won it for Sevilla in injury time, but shot wide from inside the box, before Reds defender Joe Gomez was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who requested a transfer in the summer, made his first appearance of the season for Liverpool, coming on for Emre Can on 75 minutes.
In the other Group F game, Maribor came from behind with five minutes remaining to draw 1-1 against Spartak Moscow.
Defensive fragility costs Reds
Liverpool have conceded eight goals in three league games so far this season, and their problems at the back were in evidence again at Anfield.
Manager Jurgen Klopp, a Champions League runner-up in charge of Borussia Dortmund in 2013, did not manage to address the side’s defensive issues in the summer, missing out on key target Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
The lack of understanding among the backline is further complicated by Klopp’s apparent indecision about his number one goalkeeper, alternating between Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius for the third straight game, with the German being handed a start this time.
Sevilla’s opener came as their opponents failed to close them down on the edge of the box and the ball was played out wide to Sergio Escudero. The full-back drilled a low ball into the box, which Lovren made a hash of clearing, allowing Frenchman Ben Yedder an easy finish at the far post.
For their second, Liverpool were slow to react to a quick throw as former Blackburn midfielder Steven N’Zonzi – an imposing presence for the away side – slipped the ball to Correa, who broke through Liverpool’s central defence and stroked in.
To make matters worse, full-back Gomez will miss the next group game through suspension after being sent off in the 94th minute.
Liverpool host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 15:00 BST), while Sevilla travel to Girona in La Liga on Sunday (kick-off 15:15 BST).
More to follow.
- 12GomezBooked at 90mins
- 18MorenoBooked at 39mins
- 23CanSubstituted forCoutinhoat 76′minutes
- 11SalahSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 89′minutes
- 19ManéSubstituted forSturridgeat 84′minutes
- 25MercadoBooked at 35mins
- 21Martín ParejaBooked at 42mins
- 14PizarroSubstituted forSarabiaat 45+1′minutes
- 10BanegaBooked at 38mins
- 16Jesús NavasSubstituted forCorchiaat 83′minutes
- 9Ben YedderSubstituted forMurielat 69′minutes
- 6Martins Carriço
- Danny Makkelie
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Liverpool 2, Sevilla 2.
Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Sevilla 2.
Attempt missed. Éver Banega (Sevilla) right footed shot from more than 40 yards on the left wing is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.
Second yellow card to Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) for a bad foul.
Joaquín Correa (Sevilla) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Joseph Gomez (Liverpool).
Attempt missed. Luis Muriel (Sevilla) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Nico Pareja.
Attempt saved. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho with a cross.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Steven N’Zonzi.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Pablo Sarabia.
Substitution, Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Mohamed Salah.
Attempt missed. Joaquín Correa (Sevilla) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Pablo Sarabia with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Sevilla. Conceded by Alberto Moreno.
Substitution, Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge replaces Sadio Mané.
Substitution, Sevilla. Sébastien Corchia replaces Jesús Navas.
Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).
Foul by Pablo Sarabia (Sevilla).
Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Pablo Sarabia (Sevilla) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Sevilla. Conceded by Jordan Henderson.
Attempt missed. Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Simon Kjaer.
Substitution, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho replaces Emre Can.
Foul by Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla).
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Goal! Liverpool 2, Sevilla 2. Joaquín Correa (Sevilla) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Luis Muriel.
Pablo Sarabia (Sevilla) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).
Éver Banega (Sevilla) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).
Substitution, Sevilla. Luis Muriel replaces Wissam Ben Yedder.
Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Sergio Rico.
Attempt saved. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Hand ball by Jesús Navas (Sevilla).
Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.
Offside, Sevilla. Éver Banega tries a through ball, but Steven N’Zonzi is caught offside.
Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.