Champions League

Sevilla leveller spoils Liverpool return

2017-09-14 05:35
Roberto Firmino (Gallo Images)

Liverpool - Roberto Firmino's first-half penalty miss proved costly for Liverpool as Joaquin Correa scored a dramatic equaliser to grab Sevilla a 2-2 Champions League draw on Wednesday.

Anfield was in jubilant mood as the English club welcomed back Champions League football after a two-year absence, but it took Sevilla just four minutes to dampen the enthusiasm.

After Wissam Ben Yedder had given the Spanish side an early lead, goals from Firmino and Mohamed Salah put Liverpool ahead, only for Firmino to miss a penalty.

On the hour, Sevilla manager Eduardo Berizzo was dismissed for throwing the ball away from Liverpool's Joe Gomez as he tried to take a throw-in, but his disappointment was eased, thanks to Correa, on 72 minutes.

All four sides in Group E are level after the opening round of matches, as Maribor played out a 1-1 draw with Spartak Moscow in Slovenia.

The opening goal was the product of a poor defensive mistake by Dejan Lovren, who completely miskicked while trying to clear a cross from Sergio Escudero at his near post.

Instead of producing a routine clearance, the defender allowed the ball to run across the face of goal where Ben Yedder had the simple task of sliding the ball into an open net.

Following on from the weekend 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City, it was the worst possible start for Jurgen Klopp's side, although their attacking play was promising.

Emre Can had curled a shot directly at goalkeeper Sergio Rico inside the opening minute and Sadio Mane came closer still as his shot was saved low down by Rico.

Firmino struck the important equaliser after 21 minutes following an incisive attack and a Jordan Henderson pass which sent Alberto Moreno away down the left.

He crossed low into the six-yard box, where Firmino lunged ahead of Gabriel Mercado to turn in the equaliser.

Minutes later, the Reds should have been in front after a blistering counter-attack ended with Mane playing Can clean through on goal only for the German international to roll his shot inches beyond the post.

But after 37 minutes, Klopp's side did take a grip of the contest when Salah shot them ahead in fortunate circumstances.

The Egyptian winger's attack into the Sevilla area broke down, but he showed great persistence to win the ball back from Steven N'Zonzi.

Salah's firm, first-time shot from over 20 yards took an unkind deflection off defender Simon Kjaer and looped over goalkeeper Rico and in.

Before the interval, the tie should have been over when defender Guido Pizarro appeared to handle, before hauling down Mane inside the Sevilla area.

Firmino strode up to take the penalty but, having sent Rico the wrong way, saw his effort rebound to safety off the right-hand post.

Liverpool continued to press the visitors after the restart and, after Berizzo's dismissal, a Georginio Wijnaldum shot was well saved by the unsighted Rico through a crowded penalty area.

Sevilla levelled when substitute Luis Muriel was given far too much space in midfield and his through ball was met by Correa, who lifted a superb finish over Loris Karius.

Klopp brought on substitute Philippe Coutinho for the final 15 minutes, his first game for the club since failing to engineer a move to Barcelona, but the Brazilian made little impact.

"Philippe trained the last few days really, really well," said Klopp. "Maybe tonight in one or two situations he was not lucky but that was him without rhythm.

"It helped him that he could play tonight in the long-term, that's for sure."

Muriel might have won the game as he got the better of Gomez and rolled a shot just wide, and the Liverpool youngster compounded his error seconds later with a second yellow card and subsequent dismissal.

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Sevilla v Maribor, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 20:45
APOEL v Tottenham Hotspur, Neo GSP 20:45
Spartak Moskva v Liverpool, Otkrytiye Arena 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 20:45
Monaco v Porto, Stade Louis II. 20:45
Napoli v Feyenoord, Stadio San Paolo 20:45
Besiktas v RB Leipzig, Vodafone Stadyumu 20:45
Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Qarabag v Roma, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 18:00
Juventus v Olympiakos Piraeus, Allianz Stadium 20:45
Sporting CP v Barcelona, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 20:45
PSG v Bayern Munchen, Parc des Princes 20:45
Basel v Benfica, St. Jakob-Park 20:45
Anderlecht v Celtic, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
CSKA Moskva v Manchester United, VEB Arena 20:45
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
Manchester City v Napoli, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Maribor v Liverpool, Ljudski vrt 20:45
APOEL v Borussia Dortmund, Neo GSP 20:45
Spartak Moskva v Sevilla, Otkrytiye Arena 20:45
RB Leipzig v Porto, Red Bull Arena 20:45
Monaco v Besiktas, Stade Louis II. 20:45
Feyenoord v Shakhtar Donetsk, Stadion Feijenoord 20:45
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Qarabag v Atletico Madrid, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 18:00
Juventus v Sporting CP, Allianz Stadium 20:45
Bayern Munchen v Celtic, Allianz-Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus, Camp Nou 20:45
Benfica v Manchester United, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 20:45
Anderlecht v PSG, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
Chelsea v Roma, Stamford Bridge 20:45
CSKA Moskva v Basel, VEB Arena 20:45
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Celtic v Bayern Munchen, Celtic Park 21:45
Sporting CP v Juventus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Qarabag, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
Manchester United v Benfica, Old Trafford 21:45
PSG v Anderlecht, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v CSKA Moskva, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Barcelona, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Chelsea, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Wednesday, 01 November 2017
Besiktas v Monaco, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Liverpool v Maribor, Anfield 21:45
Porto v RB Leipzig, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Sevilla v Spartak Moskva, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v APOEL, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Napoli v Manchester City, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Wembley Stadium 21:45
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