Liverpool squandered a three-goal lead at half-time to be held to a 3-3 draw by Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Tuesday
Liverpool’s winning run came to an end on Tuesday as a second half collapse saw them surrender a three-goal advantage as Sevilla held them to a 3-3 draw. The visitors made a blistering start to the game, with Roberto Firmino putting them ahead from a set-piece situation after just three minutes.
The Reds’ lead was doubled in the 20th minute, with Firmino grabbing an assist this time, with Sadio Mane scoring from a diving header from an identical corner routine. It was then 3-0 at the half-hour mark as Firmino completed his brace by tapping the ball into an empty net.
With the score reading 3-0 in their favour, Liverpool looked certain to clinch top spot in Group E, but that is when things turned around dramatically. The hosts got one goal back six minute after the break, when Wissam Ben Yedder rose the highest to head in Ever Banega’s free-kick.
A late Sevilla equaliser sees the points shared. pic.twitter.com/yol7DgXPOH
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 21, 2017
Ben Yedder got his and Sevilla’s second at the hour mark scoring part Loris Karius from the spot after Alberto Moreno brought him down. With the momentum on the hosts’ side, it felt like the equaliser was on its way, and in the dying moments of the match, Guido Pizarro ensured a share of the spoils by slamming a close-range finish.
The result meant that the Round of 16 qualifiers from Group E will be finalised on the final Matchday, with the top 3 sides separated by just three points. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Loris Karius: 7/10
The German shot-stopper acquitted himself well despite conceding three goals on the night. In particular, a first-half save from Nolito’s shot showed what Karius is capable of, when at his best, and he made two other saves bar which the result might have been embarrassing for the visitors.
This was a huge save from Karius, could’ve been a completely different game had it gone in 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/BZGJ46PDLb
— The Redmen (@LiamLFCButler) November 21, 2017
As far as the three goals are concerned, the 24-year-old could have done little to stop the hosts from grabbing any of the goals, and he was one of the few solid performers for the Reds on the night.
Joe Gomez: 7/10
After starting the game in nervy fashion, Gomez grew into the game really well. In fact, during a dramatic second half, the Englishman was the only Liverpool defender who gave a good account of himself, with the rest of his partners having a hard time against the Sevilla attackers.
His distribution could have been much more improved on the night though, and that is one aspect of his game that he must continue working on.
Dejan Lovren: 6/10
Quite an improved performance by Lovren as he continues moving on positively from the disastrous Wembley showing against Spurs last month. While he was quite solid overall, he failed to be the leader that Liverpool needed at the back when the going got tough against a rampaging Sevilla attack.
All in all though, it was another solid outing for the much maligned Lovren, who seems to be growing in confidence with each passing game, although the result might have affected his confidence.
Ragnar Klavan: 6/10
A no-nonsense performance for the most part by the Estonian, who combined well with Lovren at the heart of the Liverpool defence. As the nerves started piling up in the second half though, Klavan’s stature started decline, and a botched clearance in injury time led to Sevilla’s equaliser.
Alberto Moreno: 3/10
Liverpool 3-0 up at HT
⏱ 50’ – Moreno gives away a free kick
⏱ 51’ – Ben Yedder scores
⏱ 58’ – Moreno gives away a penalty
⏱ 60’ – Ben Yedder scores
Unbelievable, Jeff. pic.twitter.com/r7dy9v9jTs
— Compare.bet (@compare_bet) November 21, 2017
Oh, Alberto. Just when everyone thought that he had put his demons away for good, Moreno produced a performance reminiscent of his struggling days from last season. The Spaniard did start the game on a positive note, looking solid for the most part in the first half.
But, in the final 45 minutes, it looked like a switch had been turned off as he made some catastrophic errors. He first unnecessarily made a poor error of judgement to give away the free kick that led to the first goal, then tripped Ben Yedder to concede a penalty. A nightmarish return to his former club.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
What is it about away games that stops Wijanldum from performing at his best? The Dutchman started the game brightly, providing the assist to Firmino for the first goal, while looking lively in the first half. But, he lost his way, much like most of his teammates in the final 45 minutes, and he needs to pull up his socks.
Jordan Henderson: 4/10
The Liverpool captain had a shockingly poor game in which he looked anything but the leader for the visitors. Henderson was completely overrun in the midfield and he had an appalling pass accuracy of 55%.
Jordan Henderson last night:
55% passing accuracy
0 tackles won
0 aerial duels won
To think this man could still end up England captain at the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/iGIa5TtcEm
— 888sport (@888sport) November 22, 2017
In what is more damning, he failed to raise his hand in adversity, when his side were up against it. Not the kind of performance that you expect from the captain of a top football club, and the Englishman needs to improve after many an underwhelming outing.
Philippe Coutinho: 7/10
While the other midfielders seemed to be having a shocker, Coutinho did reasonably well, albeit on the other end of the pitch. The Brazilian playmaker stayed true to his name, playing a major role in creating all three goals.
But, he did not look the part at the start of the second half and was subbed off with almost half an hour to go as Klopp looked to add stability in midfield to stop the Sevilla attackers.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
Like most of his teammates, it was a game of two halves for Mane as he looked bright and lively in the first 45 minutes, while also grabbing a deserved goal. In the second half, he looked tired and jaded as he failed to mount the pressure off the ball as a second game in three days seemed to have taken toll.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
Considering the kind of high standards that Salah has set for himself so far this season, this was a slightly below par outing for him. The Egyptian worked extremely hard off the ball, but wasn’t as effective with it as we have come to expect this season. A rare off game, and he would be expected to be at it again when Chelsea come visiting this weekend.
Roberto Firmino: 8/10
ROBERTO FIRMINO in UCL:
7 goal involvements in 5 games. What a player! 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/xKh57p2WE5
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) November 21, 2017
Easily the best player on the pitch for the Reds, even if you disregard the goals and assist that he bagged on the night. Firmino did extremely well to be in the right place at the right time for both his goals, and flicked the ball well for Mane.
In the second half, the Brazilian didn’t see much of the ball, although he worked really hard off the ball to help his side stifle the confident Sevilla attack.
James Milner: 6/10
Came on with half an hour to go and stabilised what resembled a sinking ship on the left side of defence. But, he could not do much to secure all three points, as the Reds ultimately dropped two points.
Emre Can: 6/10
Came on for Coutinho to add men off the ball and steady things in midfield. But, he was largely ineffective, and culpable of not netting the winner when the opportunity presented itself.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: N/A
On for the final few minutes, Oxlade-Chamberlain had little time to make much of a mark, with the Reds pegged back for the duration of his cameo.