Digital Football Journalist @ronnabe
Liverpool 1-2 Sevilla: Yasser Larouci stretchered off after horror challenge from Joris Gnagnon
Nolito had opened scoring for Spanish side in Boston, with Alejandro Pozo hitting late winner
Last Updated: 22/07/19 8:43am
Divock Origi scored as Liverpool lost 2-1 to Sevilla, but the game was marred by a potentially serious injury to Yasser Larouci.
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The Reds' 18-year-old left-back was stretchered off after being kicked in the shin by Joris Gnagnon, who was shown a straight red card, with 15 minutes left at a sweltering Fenway Park in Boston.
Sevilla had earned a deserved first-half lead in front of a hugely partisan Liverpool crowd when Nolito fired past debutant Andy Lonergan, but Origi netted a minute before the break when he tapped home Nathaniel Phillips' header from a corner.
Wholesale changes from both sides at half time led to a disjointed second half which Gnagnon's red card did little to aid, but with 10-man Sevilla soaking up late pressure from Liverpool they sprung a late surprise on the break, finding Munir in the channel before he crossed for young substitute Alejandro Pozo to fire a late winner past Simon Mignolet at the second attempt.
Where it went wrong for Liverpool
A sweltering evening in Boston couldn't deny a blood-and-thunder game at Fenway Park, which began brightly with Origi denied by Sergio Rico inside the opening moments.
But from there Sevilla took control and exposed Liverpool's defensive rust with a number of good chances, the best bringing a fine save from debutant goalkeeper Lonergan, who stood tall to deny Luuk de Jong one-on-one.
Diego Carlos was guilty of missing another chance when he lost Virgil van Dijk at a corner and nodded over, but Nolito would make no such mistake when he received Lucas Ocampos' deflected cross and turned inside before curling the ball into the top corner eight minutes before the break.
Liverpool found some signs of life from that wake-up call, and finally stretched Sevilla's defence a minute before the break when Ben Woodburn found Trent Alexander-Arnold, and his cross was nodded behind by Jesus Navas.
He delivered from the resulting corner too, from which Phillips' header fell at the feet of Origi and he tapped home from six yards.
Half time resulted in 11 changes from Liverpool and nine from Sevilla and led to a disjointed second half, with Sevilla content to soak up Liverpool pressure and occasionally hit them on the break.
It was from one such move that they nearly restored their lead, as Moanes Dabour's lovely switch of play found Munir in space on the right, and he forced Mignolet into a flying save before the rebound was fired straight at the substitute goalkeeper.
Liverpool's young forward line struggled to find their collective rhythm but they did come close through Curtis Jones, who was found after Rhian Brewster's persistence paid off as he robbed Sergio Escudero and crossed into the middle, where the midfielder was denied by Tomas Vaclik's smart save.
But then came the defining moment of the game. Frustrated that a late challenge from Dejan Lovren moments before had not been punished, Gnagnon took matters into his own hands as Larouci danced through the Sevilla midfield and took a swipe at the Liverpool defender, catching him on the shin and leaving him requiring a stretcher - and earning a red card for his troubles.
Sevilla continued to sit back and invite Liverpool on to them but, despite their man disadvantage, sprung a surprise in the final minute when the ball was cleared to Munir in the left channel, and he found an unmarked Pozo in the middle. His first effort was blocked by Mignolet but he stabbed home at the second attempt to give Sevilla the victory they had deserved over the 90 minutes.
'Too early to create headlines'
Speaking after the match, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Yasser Larouci was "lucky" not to have suffered a more serious injury.
"It's much too early in the season to create headlines by saying what I think but it looks like he was lucky," Klopp told reporters at his post-match press conference.
"Of course, how it always is with these things we have to wait a little bit."
Asked for specifics on Larouci's injury, Klopp added: "He hit him full throttle and, in that moment, [if it was] a little bit different position where he hit him then it's done. He rolls... he is a sports boy so that was OK, nothing happened there.
"I don't know 100 per cent. It looks like he was lucky but I only spoke quickly to the doc and that's what he said, but we have to see."
'It was a heinous act on my part'
Posting on Twitter, the Sevilla player wrote: "I would like to publicly apologise towards Liverpool, the family of the player and its supporters.
"It was a heinous act on my part. Whatever the reason, it's not what should be seen on a football pitch. All my prayers are with the player and his family."
Liverpool's next game in the International Champions Cup comes on Thursday morning, when they play Sporting Lisbon at 1.15am UK time at the Yankee Stadium in New York.