Liverpool, the five-time European Championship winners, have returned in the prestigious Champions League football following three years of absence after defeating Bundesliga outfit TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in playoffs. They have been drawn alongside Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and NK Maribor in the group stage and their opening fixture was against La Liga heavyweights Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday night. The Reds had a heartbreak in 2015-16 Europa League final when they were defeated by their tonight’s counterparts by 3-1 despite leading at half-time. The revenge, however, remained unaccomplished as the game ended in all square following a second half strike from Sevilla youngster Joaquin Correa.
Liverpool had an early setback when Dejan Lovren, as usual, made a dreadful mistake after failing to make a simple clearance and Wissam Ben Yedder made no mistake to tap in from close range. Liverpool, clearly the more dominating side, came back strong in the first half and responded with a brilliant team work to equalize via Roberto Firmino. Skipper Jordan Henderson and former Sevilla fullback Alberto Moreno did tremendously well to set it for Firmino who made no mistake to slot it in from close range. It was Mohamed Salah then whose shot took a wicked deflection off Simon Kjaer and ended up into the back of the net. Firmino had a golden opportunity to convert a spot-kick after Nicolas Pareja fouled Sadio Mane inside the box, however, the Brazilian was unlucky to hit the post and the scoreline remained 2-1 in favor of the hosts at half-time.
Liverpool missed too many opportunities in the first half as Emre Can and Alberto Moreno in closing seconds should have done better to increase the margin. Moreno, particularly, was outstanding despite being largely at fault in Liverpool’s painful 3-1 defeat in Europa League final. But their missed chances cost them big time as the Reds failed to find out the rhythm after the break. Sevilla looked more organized and hit back following a sublime one-two between substitute Luis Muriel and youngster Joaquin Correa with the later made it all square at Anfield.
Liverpool vs Sevilla Line-ups
Liverpool: Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Emre Can (Philippe Coutinho 76′), Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 89′), Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane (Daniel Sturridge 83′).
Sevilla: Sergio Rico, Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Pareja, Simon Kjaer, Sergio Escudero, Steven N’zonzi, Ever Banega, Guido Pizarro (Pablo Sarabia 45′), Jesus Navas (Sebastian Corchia 83′), Joaquin Correa, Wissam Ben Yedder (Luis Muriel 69′).
Liverpool vs Sevilla Highlights
Liverpool vs Sevilla Match Stats
|Shots (on Target)||24(7)||7 (2)|
|Fouls (Bookings)||14(2 Y)||9(3 Y, 1 R)|