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Sevilla 3, Liverpool 3: First Thoughts

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Liverpool pull a reverse Istanbul, ending up with a disappointing draw in Sevilla.

Sevilla FC v Liverpool FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Sevilla 2: Yedder 51’ 60’
Liverpool 3: Firmino 2’ 30’, Mane 22’

  • Pre-match Thought: Well, Maribor did us a solid by drawing away to Spartak Moscow. You’d think they’d be sore about the 10-0 aggregate, but I guess not! Anyway, Liverpool are now definitively in the driver’s seat, not just to advance, but to win the group outright, which they can with a win tonight. Giddy up.
  • GOAL! Dream start for the Reds! Mane gets into the box in the first minute and wins a corner. Coutinho’s ensuing corner finds Georgino Wijnaldum at the near post, who heads it dangerously across the box for Roberto Firmino, who is completely unmarked at the far post. The Brazilian fires home from the tightest of angles.
  • Twelve minutes in and Sevilla threaten for the first time. No Liverpool defender tracks Escudero’s run, but the Sevilla fullback can only find the side netting with his shot from a tight angle.
  • Dejan Lovren asking to be played in with a through ball. Crazier still, he gets it. What just happened?
  • BIG SAVE! Joe Gomez gets sent out for pies in the box by Ben Yeddler, leaving Karius 1-v-1 with the Sevilla striker. The German keeper gets just enough to tip the ball onto the far post, and gathers the rebound.
  • Close again! Sevilla once again create a huge chance, but Karius closed down Yeddler’s angle just enough to force the shot inches wide of the far post.
  • This game is mad. It’s end to end. This time Firmino is played through the middle, and is 1-v-1 with the keeper, who is up to the Brazilian’s shot, pushing it wide for a corner.
  • GOAL!! A goal was inevitable, given the last ten or so crazy-end-to-end minutes, and luckily it went Liverpool’s way. In a near carbon-copy of the first goal, it was Firmino who got his head on the corner, nodding it down for Sadio Mane to finish at the far post with an inch-perfect header.
  • GOAL!!! Sevilla came to play, and are ending up on the wrong end of that gamble. Sadio Mane is played through on goal with a long ball over the top. His initial effort is saved, however, the keeper can only push it into the path of the unmarked Firmino, who calmly takes a touch and puts it in the back of the net.
  • Alberto Moreno picks up a deserved yellow for a rash challenge. Show ‘em who you play for, Albi.
  • Halftime Thought: Holy fuck. I might need to go out for a smoke break and I don’t even smoke. That half, particularly the first half an hour, was goddamned mental. The visitors only had 30% possession in the first half, but they made that possession count. The 3-0 scoreline slightly flatters Liverpool considering the two huge chances that Sevilla could not convert, but it the Reds were also exceptionally dangerous on the counter. Forty-five more minutes, and we’re in the Round of 16, as group winners, no less.
  • Goal. Lots of set play goals tonight. Moreno gives away a free kick in a wide area, and Yedder heads home the effort. Who wants a clean sheet anyway?
  • Penalty. Oh no. Albi gives away pen...though, on second viewing it is a horrific simulation. Moreover, it was a very late call. Not that it matters.
  • Goal. Yedder sends Karius the wrong way, and it is definitely game on.
  • Sevilla are all over us, and Klopp decides on two changes. Emre Can on for Coutinho, and James Milner on for Moreno. Much like the Europa League final, this is a tale of two halves, and Liverpool wasn’t going to hold on to this lead much longer at that rate.
  • In the ten or so minute since the changes, Liverpool look much better, actually keeping a bit of possession and calming things down.
  • In the last few minutes Liverpool have gotten close to once again extending their lead, first though a counter from a corner, then from Mane being played through on goal. But this match continues to insist on being of the heart-attack inducing variety.
  • Liverpool make their final substitution, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on for Mohamed Salah. Give ‘em hell, OxChamFamBlud.
  • Mane was just taken down in the box. Penalty? Obviously not.
  • Goal. Liverpool concede a late corner, well into stoppage time. Second balls. You know the rest.
  • Final Whistle Thought: Tale of two halves. The first a dream. The second a nightmare. Liverpool still control their fate in Group E, but will need a home win in the final match to ensure top spot in the group.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.