Wasteful Liverpool let Sevilla off the hook
Liverpool 2 Sevilla 2
Somehow Jurgen Klopp's team conspired to draw a game that they had dominated and, along the way, even missed a penalty when the game was at their mercy.
Roberto Firmino was guilty of that, having scored the first before Mohamed Salah notched the second, but having edged Sevilla to the exit they could not quite nudge them over the threshold. When the striker Joaquin Correa scored a brilliant equaliser with 18 minutes left, his coach Eduardo Berizzo had already been sent to the stands by the Dutch referee and without him, Sevilla held their nerve.
In the closing stages, Liverpool could not put together the move that would win the game and, when they lost Joe Gomez to a second yellow card before the final whistle, it ended up a much worse night than it should have been.
This Anfied team for 2017-2018 is already settling into a pattern. Emre Can and Jordan Henderson operate the roadblock in midfield, Georginio Wijnaldum gets himself from box to box and Firmino, is the strong target man. No denying the stars of the show, however, those wide men Salah and Sadio Mane.
The mistake that undid them in the fifth minute was a throwback to the days when Klopp's team could not help but undermine their work going forward and so it proved as Correa played in the overlapping full-back Sergio Escudero who cut the ball back to the near post where Dejan Lovren had plenty of time to concentrate on clearing a cross that was straight at him. He missed, Wassim Ben Yedder found the net.
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For all Klopp's bemusement on the touchline it never felt like this would be a problem for Liverpool and their equaliser arrived on 21 minutes. Moreno fed the ball to Henderson and then pursued the captain's perfectly weighted ball down to the byline to cut the ball back for Firmino.
The lead goal was fortunate, Salah, retrieving possession from Steven N'Zonzi and clearly fouling the former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder, before his shot took an outrageous deflection. Mane won a penalty minutes later but, with the game at Liverpool's mercy, Firmino hit the post.
Liverpool's dominance showed in the frustration of Sevilla's manager Berizzo who was dismissed just before the hour when he proffered a ball kicked into touch to Gomez and then threw it away as the full-back reached out.
Then, with just one chance, Sevilla scored and it was a fine finish from Correa and an untidy end to what should have been a comfortable night for the home side. (© Daily Telegraph, London)