Seville - Sevilla produced a stunning fightback from a
three-goal half-time deficit to earn a thrilling 3-3 draw with Liverpool on
Tuesday thanks to Guido Pizarro's stoppage-time equaliser.
Roberto Firmino scored twice as Jurgen Klopp's side looked
set to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time in nine years and
seal top spot in Group E with a three-goal blitz in the first half-hour, with
Sadio Mane also netting.
However, Wissam Ben Yedder pulled two goals back before
Pizarro stabbed home from a corner to protect Sevilla's year-long unbeaten run
"Fantastic first half and in the second half we made
the mistake that we didn't continue playing football," said Liverpool
manager Jurgen Klopp.
"We have to control the game with the ball and we
didn't play football.
"We became a little bit passive, they scored the first
one and it was obvious the atmosphere changed immediately and that gave them a
Both sides remain well-placed to reach the last 16 as
Liverpool still lead the group on nine points from Sevilla on eight with
Spartak Moscow in third on six points.
Liverpool host the Russians at Anfield in two weeks' time
when Sevilla travel to Maribor for the final games in the group.
"It was an incredible game. I am really emotional about
what happened," said Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo.
"I am delighted for my players, for the reaction and
the pride they showed."
Both sides were gifted a huge boost before kick-off as
Maribor's stoppage-time equaliser for a 1-1 draw in the Russian capital
prevented Spartak from jumping into second place in the group.
Sevilla's joy didn't last long, though, as they were
punished for awful defending from a corner less than two minutes in when
Firmino was left completely unmarked at the far post to fire high past Sergio
The hosts had their chances to get back into the game when
Loris Karius got a fingertip to Nolito's goalbound effort to turn the ball onto
the post before Ben Yedder fired inches wide with just the German goalkeeper to
Yet, the pace of Liverpool's 'fab four' attack of Firmino,
Mane, Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho looked capable of opening up the
Sevilla defence at will and only a fine save from Rico prevented Firmino from
doubling his tally midway through the half.
That save only delayed a two-goal Liverpool lead by a matter
of seconds as, from the resulting corner, Mane scored almost a carbon copy of
the opener when he stooped to head home Firmino's flick-on.
Eight minutes later it was 3-0 as Mane sped away from a
lumbering Sevilla backline and his initial effort was only parried by Rico into
the path of the grateful Firmino to slot into an empty net.
Sevilla came out a side transformed in the second half and
were given a lifeline when Ben Yedder got across his marker to head Ever
Banega's free-kick inside the far post.
Belief was coursing through the home side and fans moments
later when Ben Yedder went down under a challenge from former Sevilla favourite
Alberto Moreno and German referee Felix Brych awarded a penalty.
Ben Yedder stepped up and slotted home from the spot twice
after Brych ordered his first attempt be retaken.
Liverpool produced the most unbelievable fightback from 3-0
down to win the Champions League against AC Milan back in 2005 and Sevilla were
inches away from their own Istanbul moment 25 minutes from time when Franco
Vazquez's shot was turned onto the underside of the bar by Karius.
Klopp restored some order to the visitors with the
introduction of Emre Can and James Milner for Coutinho and Moreno and Liverpool
should have settled their nerves with a fourth goal as Salah, Mane and Can all
passed up big chances.
And they were made to pay for their profligacy and poor
defending when Pizarro stretched to turn home a loose ball after a corner
wasn't properly cleared in injury time.