Liverpool Champions League Updates: Three quick thoughts from Sevilla’s comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 vs. Liverpool in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday.
Liverpool blew the chance to claim a place in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2009 by throwing away a 3-0 half-time lead to draw 3-3 against Sevilla in Spain.
Two second-half goals by Wissam Ben Yedder — both before the hour mark — gave Sevilla the chance to salvage a draw and extend their 25-game unbeaten home run after a Roberto Firmino double and strike by Sadio Mane had put Liverpool 3-0 ahead at the interval. But with time running out at the end of the game, Liverpool looked set to hold on for the win that would confirm qualification and top spot in Group E.
A failure to defend a 93rd-minute corner proved their downfall, however, with Guido Pizarro scoring from a loose ball to snatch a draw for Sevilla and raise further questions over Liverpool’s inability to keep it tight at the back.
The game was a classic example of Liverpool’s good and bad sides. They scored at least three goals in a game for the fifth outing in succession but once again gave away too many chances at the other end.
And after failing to capitalise on a host of chances in their home game against Sevilla, which ended 2-2, Liverpool again threw victory away. Jurgen Klopp’s men must now defeat Spartak Moscow at Anfield next month to guarantee the top spot.
Liverpool could cause some serious damage to the best teams in the Champions League this season if they can keep their “Fab Four” attacking unit fit and healthy, but at some point, even their heroics will be unable to make up for the team’s ongoing defensive problems.
Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah all started against Sevilla and the four of them caused havoc during the first half, when two Firmino goals and one from Mane gave Klopp’s team a 3-0 half-time lead.
Liverpool’s pace on the counterattack was breathtaking, with Mane in particular a major threat, and they also showed their threat from set pieces by scoring their first two goals from corners — both nearly identical. Coutinho then gave an example of his creativity with a stunning pass to Salah that should have been converted by the Egyptian, who saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Sergio Rico.
Still, Liverpool went in at half-time having scored 10 away goals in 135 minutes of Champions League football, following the 7-0 win against Maribor, and they were playing like a team that could score against any opponent. But then came the second-half wobble, with Sevilla scoring twice within the opening 15 minutes of the second period.
In the first half, goalkeeper Loris Karius and the woodwork kept Sevilla out when the home team should have scored, but there was always an inevitability about Liverpool conceding. And just when they looked to have held on for a win, a failure to defend a corner properly three minutes into stoppage time gave Pizarro the chance to equalise, and he didn’t waste it.