Liverpool 2-2 Sevilla: Joaquin Correa's late leveller punishes wasteful hosts
By Pete Hall at Anfield
Last Updated: 14/09/17 7:38am
Joaquin Correa's late equaliser denied Liverpool victory on their Champions League return after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sevilla at Anfield in their Group E clash on Wednesday.
Liverpool looked to be feeling the effects of the weekend thrashing at Manchester City when they conceded a soft opener early on, allowing Wissam Ben Yedder to tap home five minutes in.
They were soon level through Roberto Firmino 16 minutes later, before Mo Salah turned the match on its head 37 minutes in, as his deflected effort gave Liverpool the lead. Firmino then should have extended Liverpool's lead from the spot after livewire Sadio Mane had been felled, but saw his penalty cannon back off the post.
After the break, Liverpool continued to create and miss chances, and that proved costly as Correa levelled with 18 minutes to go.
Liverpool: Karius (6), Gomez (6), Lovren (5), Matip (5), Moreno (6), Wijnaldum (6), Can (6), Henderson (7), Salah (7), Mane (8), Firmino (6).
Subs: Coutinho (6), Sturridge (6) Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/A).
Sevilla: Rico (7), Kjaer (6), Escudero (7), Pareja (7), Mercado (6), Banega (6), Pizarro (6), Nzonzi (7), Ben Yedder (7), Correa (7), Navas (7).
Subs: Corchia (6) Sarabia (6), Muriel (7).
Man of the match: Sadio Mane
Philippe Coutinho made his return to the side, but couldn't create a winner, as Joe Gomez's late red card ensured Liverpool fans headed home frustrated.
The tension around Anfield was palpable from the off, and it wasn't long before fans were really fearing the worst, as Sevilla worked the ball well to Sergio Escudero, he squared into the danger zone, Dejan Lovren completely missed it, allowing Ben Yedder all the time in the world to tap home.
Liverpool responded superbly. Mane was denied by a smart save from Sergio Rico, before Firmino had the hosts level. The football was excellent as Alberto Moreno and Jordan Henderson played a neat one-two, the Spaniard raced to reach the return, before squaring for Firmino to tap home.
The big news from Anfield was that Philippe Coutinho returned to the fray, but only on the bench.Mo Salah had been a doubt through illness, but was fit to start. Joe Gomez was handed a starting berth, with Loris Karius in goal, as expected.Sevilla had Nolito missing, with Joaquin Correa coming in.
Emre Can then almost completed the turnaround immediately after the equaliser, but saw his effort squirm agonisingly past the post after more scintillating football on the break, but it wasn't long before Liverpool did have the lead, as Salah worked hard to win the ball back off Steven N'Zonzi, he shot for goal from 25 yards and found the net via a huge deflection which took the ball over Rico.
Five minutes later, and Firmino had the chance to put Liverpool in control after Nico Pareja had hauled Mane to the floor in the box, but Firmino failed to convert from the spot.
After the break, Liverpool were largely untroubled as Sevilla grew more and more frustrated. Their troubles were compounded as manager Eduardo Berizzo was sent to the stands for throwing the ball away petulantly.
Chances continued to come and go, and such profligacy proved costly, as Correa latched onto a through-ball from substitute Luis Muriel, benefitted from a fortunate first touch, before steering the ball into the bottom corner.
Coutinho's introduction failed to inspire the hosts, as they toiled to find that winning goal, with Gomez's dismissal for a second yellow card in stoppage time adding to the woe on the red half of Merseyside. Sevilla could have in fact won it right at the death, but Muriel dragged his effort wide.
- Liverpool have only won one of their nine Champions League home games against Spanish opposition (D4 L4).
- Liverpool have failed to keep a clean sheet in 11 of their last 12 Champions League contests.
- Firmino became the 6th player to score on his Champions League debut for Liverpool (also Owen, Litmanen, Cissé, Morientes & Balotelli). Salah shortly followed suit and became the 7th to do so for the club.
- Salah is the first Egyptian player to score on his Champions League debut for two different sides (Basel & Liverpool).
Jurgen Klopp: "You have to keep on going, and there is a lot in this game that we can build on. If you shoot that often and don't score then it is going to be a problem. Usually in a game like this you will score
Most important thing in football is creating chances and we did that. We work on this like we work on all parts of our game."
Man of the Match - Sadio Mane
Liverpool's front three flowed really well at times, but it was Mane's pace and trickery that really opened Sevilla up. Every counter had Mane at the forefront. His finishing let him down at times, but he wasn't as guilty as others. His energy will be severely missed in the coming weeks.
Liverpool will look to bounce back in the same surroundings on Saturday when they host Burnley at 3pm.
Sevilla aim to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they travel to newly-promoted Girona.