Champions League: Liverpool play 2 – 2 draw with Sevilla

Mohamed Salah scores for Liverpool
Mohamed Salah scores for Liverpool

Joaqui Correa snatched a dramatic equaliser for Sevilla as even substitute Philippe Coutinho failed to earn Liverpool a deserved victory.

Roberto Firmino slotted home and missed a penalty and Mohamed Salah netted a deflected long-ranger as the Reds roared back from Wissam Ben Yedder’s early opener in this Champions League group opener.

But the outstanding Correa punished dozy defending from the Reds on a rare breakaway for the Spaniards as he rolled in a 72nd minute equaliser.

And a miserable climax for Liverpool was completed by Joe Gomez seeing red in stoppage time.

The Reds’ calm start had been rocked in just the fifth minute.

Five quick, slick passes opened up their defence and, when Dejan Lovren failed to clear a pacy cross from the left, Ben Yedder sidefooted Sevilla in front.

Sadio Mane led Liverpool’s storming response, threatening twice even before his fierce 20-yarder forced Sergio Rico into a fine low save.

After that Sevilla were more and more stretched by the speed, width and precision of the Reds in the final third of the field.

And that flowing brilliance peaked with Firmino’s leveller on 21 minutes.

Alberto Moreno was the main man as passes zipped across the Sevilla area for the Brazilian to slot home.

Emre Can almost matched that moments later but angled his left-footer wide after Sevilla were once again bypassed by the deftness of Liverpool’s build-up.

But when Liverpool grabbed the lead they richly deserved it was more down to luck than their clear superiority.

Salah showed the Reds could match their craft with graft by battling to rob Steven N’Zonzi.

The Egyptian winger ploughed forward and his 25-yard left-footer deflected fiercely enough off Simon Kjaer to wrong-foot Rico and nestle in the corner.

Firmino’s eventful night was at its most feverish in this spell as it was his soaring jump that won the ball for Mane to burst into the box, prompting Nicolas Pareja to haul him down after probably handling the ball.

Frontman Firmino’s resulting penalty sent Rico the wrong way but thudded off a post.

Liverpool’s rampant finish to the first period was summed up in the closing seconds as the lively Moreno slipped free for a skimming shot tipped away.

And the first 20 minutes of the second period was just as dynamic and dominant for the high-tempo Reds.

Sevilla, though, never panicked.

And from the rarest of chances they grabbed the most valuable of equalisers.

Correa was fortunate to see his iffy first touch squirm back to him right in the middle of the area on 72 minutes. But his ensuing finish was cool and firm, a sharp shot planted past the advancing Lorius Karius.

That sparked the introduction of Coutinho, who must have been delighted by the rousing reception he got from Liverpool fans.

But he failed to make decisive touches in the areas of the pitch that mattered as Liverpool’s approach play became more desperate but more ragged.

That desperation was summed up by right-back Gomez being dismissed for his second bookable foul as the Reds had to settle for a draw.

Share this story

Post your comments below