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Liverpool 1, Sevilla 2 - Match Recap: Pain Points In A Physical Friendly

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Liverpool lose the match as well as Yasser Larouci through extremely physical play

SOCCER: JUL 21 Liverpool FC v Sevilla FC Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Liverpool 1 - 2 Sevilla

Liverpool Origi 44’
Sevilla Nolito 37’, Pozo 90’

Pre-Match

Liverpool come into this match against Sevilla looking to improve upon the woeful defensive effort against Borussia Dortmund on Friday. The midfield and attacking units will look to build upon some nice moments of interplay last game, with some of the younger players looking to cement their place in Jurgen Klopp’s plans. Then again, it’s a game on short rest in intense heat with a 35 year old journeyman keeper between the sticks in a baseball stadium. We’ll settle for no one getting hurt and an obligatory Rhian Brewster goal.

P.S. I can get used to the team being introduced as “European Champions Liverpool”.

First Half

Liverpool are sporting their new “Encounter at Farpoint” kits. As usual, they look better on the players than the leaked images, but I’m still not sold on the pattern. Sevilla are wearing kits without names on the back, so this should be fun keeping track of who is who.

Right off the jump, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the thick of things, feeding the ball wide for Trent Alexander-Arnold to drive a beautiful low cross that just evades the Liverpool attackers. We’ve missed you Trent. Liverpool don’t ease up, with Jordan Henderson slipping a great pass into Divock Origi, who has his shot saved from a tight angle. Good stuff so far.

After giving up a free header on the defensive end, Liverpool swarm forward again and earn a free kick from about 20 yards out. Wilson, with a questionable tattoo of a lion on his forearm, hits his free kick into the wall. Sevilla then create another decent chance at the far end.

Liverpool trying some slick passing out of the back, and Wijnaldum turns it over. Lonergan gets big and makes a good save at close range from Luuk de Jong. Liverpool defense has been sloppy again so far.

Liverpool defense again left wanting after a free kick for Sevilla pops out, and the resulting cross is narrowly headed wide by de Jong. Liverpool charge back the other way, and Origi does his best whirling dervish impression, bamboozling several Sevilla defenders. Origi has quietly gotten much better with his hold up play.

The grounds crew comes out during the hydration break with a hose to water down the field. They’re the real heroes here. John Aldridge and Steve Hunter are in mid-season form describing how hot it is.

Goal - Sevilla. A sequence with several hard - and potentially late - challenges ends with a Sevilla free kick somehow. Sevilla work the ball down right, where a cross makes its way to Nolito. His one-time hit finds the far corner. Another case of Liverpool failing to deal with crosses.

Sevilla are playing like this is the Champions League final, snapping into tackles after the ball is gone. Ref needs to get control of the match before someone gets hurt. If anyone takes Ox out, I will be sending a strongly worded letter.

GOAL LIVERPOOL! Stop me when you’ve heard this before. Trent takes a corner, and the ball gets headed down by Nathaniel Phillips before Origi emphatically finishes from short range!

Yet ANOTHER rash challenge from Sevilla. This time it’s Ever Banega, who is already sitting on a yellow. Banega cuts in front of Wilson on the sideline, and seems to bring his elbow into Wilson’s face. Wilson seems pretty shaken up and is pulled off the field for treatment while play continues. Lonergan makes yet another fine save as the half draws to a close.

Origi, Lonergan, and Trent were the stars of the half, with Ox showing some great energy. As a unit, the defense struggled with crosses coming in. Three quarters of the back line and two thirds of the midfield just started training, so hopefully this is just a blip.

Second Half

Liverpool swap out the entire team to start the second half. Looks like Sevilla also made a full set of changes.

James Milner goes down after flying back into the Liverpool box to block a shot. He does a quick system scan, and then gets back up.

Yasser Larouci has made a few nice tackles to start the half. He’s still trying to dribble out of trouble too much, but promising stuff nonetheless.

Simon Mignolet with two saves in quick succession. Hard shot from distance gets parried back out of the box. He is able to get to his feet and catch the follow up shot.

Ki-Jana Hoever maybe being a little TOO calm out there. He’s stayed on the ball too long a few times, and has turned the ball over. The latest time results in a corner. Mignolet gets fully extended to palm the ball in from the corner away from the goal. Good, confident stuff from Mignolet there.

Apparently there were two Sevilla players who stayed on from the first half. They get subbed off at the 60’ mark, and Ben Yedder is one of the players brought on.

It’s been a very uneven second half. Both sides with some play in and around the box, but not much in the way of decent chances.

Brewster has struggled to get service so far, which isn’t too surprising considering the decidedly youth side he’s playing with. He’s dropped deep to try and combine, but not much coming of it. His willingness to track back and pressure is apparent, however.

Curtis Jones with a chance! Some great skill near the endline, and he cracks a shot on the volley. The keeper does a great job of covering the near post and keeps the ball out.

Hoever and a Sevilla player clash heads as they both jump for a ball. Both are down, and the ref blows for a hydration break while they get treatment. Hoever is able to continue, thankfully.

Ryan Kent with a great run, and he squares to to James Milner, to slips the ball into Curtis Jones. Jones cuts the ball back instead of hitting a shot, and then tees it up for Milner, who hammers it over from about 22 yards out.

Red Card - Sevilla. Dejan Lovren puts in a stout challenge on a Sevilla player, and Liverpool advance the ball instead of hitting it out of play with the Sevilla player down. Larouci goes on a winding run, and gets absolutely cleaned out with a retaliatory tackle by Joris Gnagnon. And by retaliatory tackle, it was a straight up kick through the leg with a full wind up. The ref shows a straight red card, and Larouci has to be stretchered off. Hopefully it isn’t anything that will require a long layoff. Bobby Duncan comes on, and Adam Lewis shifts to left back.

Lewis is immediately put to work. He does a fantastic side of staying goal side of a runner, and turns a cross behind for a corner.

Brewster and Jones are very much on the same wavelength. They have some nice interplay along the end line, but Milner ends mishits a cross and the ball balloons to the keeper.

Yet ANOTHER challenge through the back of a Liverpool player. This time it’s Bobby Duncan who gets cleaned out from behind in what should be an easy yellow card, but nothing is offered.

Goal - Sevilla. Hoever gets caught a little too far up field, and a long ball over the top finds a Sevilla player streaking towards the goal. Mignolet has no choice but to come out quickly, but the ball gets squared to Alejandro Pozo, who slams the ball past the keeper for a short-sided goal.

Kent with some more fancy footwork on the dribble, and he hits a dangerous cross. The Sevilla keeper is able to get his hands to it as Brewster comes flying in. That’s the last significant action of the game as the ref blows the whistle.

Post-Match Thoughts

Liverpool came out for a friendly, and Sevilla came out to win the game with some extremely physical play. Besides the physicality, Liverpool again struggled to cut out crosses in the back, and turned the ball over too many times in their own defensive third. There was some nice attacking play, especially early on, but the Reds were not able to consistently threaten the goal. With all that said, it’s a friendly that doesn’t count towards anything. The only thing that really matters is that Yasser Larouci will hopefully be able to get back on the field sooner rather than later.