In what was an absolute goal rush, Liverpool somehow threw away their comfortable three-goal lead against Sevilla to share the stakes at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, meaning that they will now have to wait to book their place in the final 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
The irony lies in the fact that Liverpool scored two of their goals in set-pieces (corner). It all started in as early as the second minute when Gini Wijnaldum’s deflected header from a Philippe Coutinho’s corner found Roberto Firmino unmarked at the far post. Seemed like a simple finish but it involved a lot of technique, to say the least.
Sevilla attacked with purpose, but Loris Karius made sure he keeps his post clean, at least for the first half. Nolito came inches close to equalizing after rounding off Joe Gomez, but a strong hand from Karius somehow dealt with the danger. It was then Wissam Ben Yedder who had this chance of bringing his side to the level terms, but his attempt skips past the post by a whisker.
These two misses proved out costly for the hosts as Sadio Mane, some twenty minutes after the first goal, extended Liverpool’s lead to two with a fine header. Roberto Firmino, in what Liverpool faithful would have thought was the icing on the cake, added further misery to Sevilla’s fate with a simple tap-in and soon after, Mohamed Salah came close to adding another, but his effort was denied by Sergio Rico.
Liverpool lost their focus in the second period. Alberto Moreno fouled Sarabia on the left flank and the chance was easily converted by Wissam Ben Yedder with a fine header. Nine minutes in, Liverpool conceded a penalty and Moreno proved out to be the culprit yet again. The result? GOAL! Sevilla were back in the game.
Sevilla left-back Sergio Escudero almost made it three-all with an absolute pile-driver, but his attempt was somehow deflected by Karius and eventually hit the frame. Sevilla tried everything they can, but the result only came in the injury time when an unmarked Guido Pizarro found the net from the close range. 3-3 the final score!
Guido Pizarro scored the equalizer for Sevilla (Getty)
Talking stats, Liverpool let a three-goal lead slip in a competitive match for the first time since May 2014, against Crystal Palace in the Premier League (also 3-3). The result must have been a disappointing nostalgia for Liverpool supporters, remember Crystanbul? Or maybe ‘That night in Istanbul’ but the other way around.
Also, the Reds have scored the same number of goals in their past three Champions League games (13) as they did in their previous 14 combined. The hosts enjoyed a majority of possession (70%) but it was Liverpool who managed more shots (13, 7 on target). And again, Roberto Firmino proved out Liverpool’s main man on the night and with this brace, the Brazilian has now been involved in seven goals in five Champions League appearances this season for Liverpool (five goals, two assists).
“I don’t doubt the mentality of the boys, not a bit,” said Klopp, whose side must avoid defeat when they host Spartak Moscow on 6 December to ensure they advance from Group E.
“We showed already a fantastic mentality. We showed it in a lot of other games. It’s not like this.
“Yes, it was not perfect, that’s true, but it’s not a general problem.
“Could we have done better? 100%. Do I think it’s a mentality problem? 100% not. It’s a misjudgement.”