Soccer: Disastrous defending costs Liverpool in Sevilla thriller
By Rik Sharma
(Reuters) - Liverpool displayed all the exciting forward play and calamitous defending that has been a hallmark of their inconsistent season in a thrilling 3-3 Champions League draw at Sevilla on Tuesday.
Swashbuckling attacking play saw Juergen Klopp's side slice through the shell-shocked home defence three times in 30 minutes before the visitors crumbled under pressure in the second half.
"It's obvious what we did, the real problem is we stopped playing football,” said Klopp. "They fought back and well done to them. It feels like we lost but we didn’t lose.”
Liverpool looked assured of a place in the last 16 for the first time since 2009 after Roberto Firmino's double and Sadio Mane's header but their collapse means if they lose at home to Spartak Moscow in the last Group E game they may be eliminated.
Wissam Ben Yedder’s double for Sevilla pegged the Reds back and set up a frantic finale, which saw Guido Pizarro bundle the ball home from a corner in the third minute of stoppage time.
The draw is a blow to Liverpool’s confidence after five clean sheets in their seven previous games in all competitions.
Liverpool had chances in the second half but every time Sevilla attacked they looked like scoring. Nolito hit the post in the first half and Ben Yedder missed a sitter, which he made up for with two goals in 11 minutes early in the second period.
Former Sevilla left back Alberto Moreno committed a foul on the edge of the area which led to Sevilla’s first goal, when Ben Yedder headed in the resulting free-kick, and then gave away a penalty when he took out the striker, who converted it.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson refused to blame the his Spanish team mate and said both decisions from German referee Felix Brych were harsh.
"We did not keep the ball and I did think the free kick and penalty decisions were soft to let them back in the game," said the England midfielder.
Sevilla ended up dominating the game, with Pizarro's late equaliser demonstrating that unless Liverpool improve at the back adding to their five European Cup triumphs is a pipe dream.
(Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Ken Ferris)