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Liverpool 2, Sevilla 2: First Thoughts

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A missed pen and comical defending cost Liverpool an opening round win in the Champions League.

Liverpool FC v Sevilla FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Liverpool 2: Firmino 21’, Salah 37’
Sevilla 2: Yedder 5’, Correa 72’

  • Pre-match Thought: We have a Philippe Coutinho sighting! Or rather, we will, as we watch him watch the action from the bench to start the match. Let’s hope he comes back in, scores a screamer, and we can forget this whole Barcelona nonsense until next summer, yeah? Other than that, Loris Karius comes in as expected, and Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren return to the backline. The front six remain unchanged from the weekend. And most important thing last: WE ARE BACK IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!
  • The Reds off to a fast start, with Sadio Mane already finding joy down the left side twice within the first two minutes. The crowd and team are rightfully up to the occasion early.
  • Oh hey there appeals for a handball in the box going unanswered. Shock.
  • Goal. That was not the start we wanted. Lovren is perfectly placed to cut out a cross but instead takes the bold strategy of whiffing badly, creating an easy tap in at the back post.
  • And Liverpool have another penalty appeal denied when Sadio Mane’s run into the box is clearly impeded. Apparently the football gods are not interested in helping the Reds tonight.
  • GOAL! Liverpool level things up! Sevilla old boy (still needing to make amends from the Europa League final) played a brilliant 1-2 with Hendo at the edge of the box, freeing the leftback to have time and space to pick out Roberto Firmino with the cross, which the Brazilian guides home.
  • Close! Can very nearly gives Liverpool moments after the restart, but his left-footed effort drifts just wide of the far post.
  • Karius showing, almost perfectly, his upsides and limitations in back-to-back plays. In the first, he comes off his line too late, very nearly caught out in no-mans land. The next? He catches a corner, and then springs a counter with a long throw.
  • GOAL! Liverpool take the lead, and Lovren catastrophuck aside, it is well deserved. Though, maybe not on this goal in particular. Salah wins the ball back high up the pitch, turns and fires a low, hard, left-footed shot. The keeper probably had it covered, but it took a wicked deflection from the Sevilla defender and ended up in the back of the net. OK, football gods, well played.
  • PENALTY! Either a handball or rugby tackling Mane in the box, take your pick.
  • Missed. Firmino sends the keeper the wrong way, but forgets to put the shot on target, hitting the woodwork instead.
  • Halftime Thought: That was an eventful first half, and one where the 2-1 scoreline rather flatters Sevilla. Alberto Moreno, and it shocks me to be writing the following words, might be the man of the match so far. He’s been dangerous going forward—assisting on Firmino’s goal, and finding Mane (with a header!!!) when he won the penalty—and very good on defense, even coming to Karius’s rescue when the keeper was late off his line. Sevilla are ripe for the taking if the Reds can produce a second half like the first.
  • While Moreno is having a great game, Lovren continues having an absolute howler. Errant passes, poor tackles, poor decisions, you name it. Can we have VvD yet?
  • Meanwhile, Joel Matip is making rampaging runs into the opposition’s box (and then finishing like a defender). So, a bit of a mixed bag with our backline tonight.
  • Pretty uneventful half, but Sevilla’s manager just got sent to the stands after throwing a ball away from Gomez for the second time. And the Kop sings “Adios.”
  • Twenty minutes gone in the second half, and Liverpool have remained the more dangerous side. Unfortunately, they’ve wasted many of their best chances with poor shots (and poor shot selection) from outside the box.
  • Goal. Liverpool fail to capitalize on all of their chances and are duly punished. Sevilla played straight through the Liverpool’s (for lack of a better word) “defense.” 2-2.
  • The return of Coutinho. Out Little Magician is back, on for Emre Can.
  • And Liverpool’s night just got worse. Gomez prevented a last minute goal from Sevilla, but in doing so picked up a second yellow.
  • Final Whistle Thought: Two goals on three total shots. That’s a tough result to take after dominating most of the game and missing a penalty. But you can’t make as many mistakes as Liverpool made tonight and not get punished at this level.

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.