Liverpool got off to a stilted start in their 2017/18 Champions League campaign as they drew 2-2 against Spanish team Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday night. Goals from Roberto Firmino and (kinda) Mohamed Salah were not enough to cover up the very familiar defensive issues as Wissam Ben Yedder and the brilliant Joaquin Correa consigned the Reds to a solitary point on the night.
The standout teams news was Brazilian Phillipe Coutinho starting on the bench and Loris Karius starting in goal ahead of Simon Mignolet. The game got off to poor start for Liverpool as awful defending from people like Emre Can, Joe Gomez and *cough* Dejan Lovren lead to an easy tap in for Ben Yedder to put the Reds 1-0 down in the 5th minute.
The Reds needed to double down and get back in the game as soon as possible and they did just that in the 21st minute with a stereotypical Jurgen Klopp move. Alberto Moreno picked up the ball on the left and took it inside before playing a brilliant one-two with Jordan Henderson and drilling a low ball in to the waiting foot of Firmino who only had to direct it towards goal. 1-1. Game on.
It didn’t take long for the second Liverpool goal to come as in the 37th minute after some good recovery work Mo Salah managed to get a shot away from distance which took a very lucky deflection to take it over the helpless Sergio Rico in goal. The Sevilla players surrounded the ref claiming that Salah committed a foul on Steven N’zonzi but all it earned them was a few yellow cards.
We should have been able to comfortably see out the win from this point as we were easily the better side. We even had a penalty to put the game somewhat beyond doubt but Firmino hit the post and you couldn’t help but sense that it could be a moment we bitterly regretted.
And regret it we did when, in the 72nd minute, Sevilla’s best player of the night Joaquin Correa controlled the ball, ran right past Lovren and calmly slotted the ball past Karius to level the score at 2-2. An avoidable goal that really couldn’t have been any more predictable.
The first substitution from Jurgen Klopp came directly after the goal and it was Coutinho who was the player to come on and replace Emre Can. The Brazillian was offered a warm reception from the Kop and all (well almost all) seemed to be forgiven. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge were both introduced towards the end of the game but neither were able to change the result and, after Spartak Moscow drew with Maribor, group E finished the night with 4 teams together on 1 point each. Next up for the Reds in the Champions League is Spartak Moscow but not before we face Burnley in the league this weekend. A pick up in form is needed, and soon…