Liverpool drew 3-3 in Seville to put them within a point to qualify and three points to win the group, but that’s only half the story. They surrendered a three-goal lead which could’ve been an emphatic result, as Sevilla have not lost at home in a year.
Most Liverpool fans would’ve taken a draw before the match, especially after Spartak Moscow were surprisingly held at home by Maribor. But the manner in which they’ve drawn will certainly disappoint them.
Jurgen Klopp made two changes from the side that beat Southampton three-nil on Saturday. Loris Karius came in for Simon Mignolet and Joe Gomez replaced Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Scoring in the first two minutes allowed Liverpool to play on the counter, a game in which they excel. A great save from Karius and a missed opportunity from Ben Yedder were alarming bells to what was coming in the second half.
In the first half, Liverpool showed what a brilliant attacking side they can be. A line-up which includes Coutinho, Firmino, Mane, and Salah strikes fear into opposition defenses.
Every time they countered, they looked like scoring with Salah and Firmino wasting two chances. After the third goal, they killed the atmosphere inside the Ramon Sanchez Stadium and looked like they won the group.
If Sevilla were to make a comeback, they surely had to score within the first 15 minutes of the second-half; and they did. The atmosphere inside the stadium changed completely after the first goal.
This is why this Liverpool side does not compete for trophies. It is their immaturity and vulnerability under pressure.
As soon as Sevilla scored the first goal, most Liverpool fans knew what was coming. Individual mistakes cost them again. This time it was Alberto Moreno, who has been excellent so far this season. The Spaniard, whose worst game in a Liverpool shirt came against Sevilla in the Europa League final, had a shocking start to the second-half before being substituted. Many fingers will be pointed at him after the match, but this was his first bad game of the season.
In the second-half, Liverpool “stopped playing football” as Jurgen Klopp said after the match. They allowed pressure from Sevilla who played a lot of passes between Liverpool’s midfield and defense.
The equalizing goal from Sevilla is a goal Liverpool fans have watched many times. A set-piece in the penalty area that is not dealt with, falls to a player of the opposition side who slots it into the back of the net.
Questions will be asked again of Liverpool’s defense. They will keep being asked until Liverpool can sort out their defensive fragilities.
It is not a catastrophic result by any means. A win in their final match against Spartak Moscow will win them the group. But this result will certainly dent Liverpool’s confidence.
Jurgen Klopp now faces the task of preparing a low-spirited team for the massive game against Chelsea this weekend.
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