Sevilla 3 Liverpool 3: Reds crumble in Spain with shocking second half display

ROBERTO FIRMINO bagged a brace as Liverpool looked set to cruise into the last 16 – but Sevilla fought back to turn this into a classic.

Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by

Sevilla 3 Liverpool 3: Reds crumble in Spain with shocking second half display
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool crumbled to a 3-3 draw against Sevilla

Sadio Mane scored the other for the free-scoring Reds before Sevilla pulled two back through a Wissam Ben Yedder double and Guido Pizarro completed an astonishing comeback with an eight-yard strike in stoppage time.

Liverpool arrived in fine form having scored 13 and conceded just once in four matches since a 4-1 hammering by Spurs last month.

This was a different team to the one that drew 2-2 with the Spanish side in Group E in September at Anfield.

Liverpool's recent run was down to a change in approach from boss Jurgen Klopp who admitted he has taken a more defensive approach since being smashed by Tottenham.

They have hardly been parking the bus but there has been a clear improvement in defence even with injuries to key men like Joel Matip who again missed this game with a groin problem.

But this was set to be a more true test of their resilience against a La Liga side who had not lost at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan since a 3-1 defeat by Juventus a year ago to the day.

The atmosphere was incredible but Sevilla suffered a disastrous start as Liverpool scored inside two minutes. Georginio Wijnaldum headed on Philippe Coutinho's corner before Firmino fired in at the back post.

Sevilla needed to respond and winger Nolito had a shot pushed onto the post by keeper Loris Karius before Ben Yedder put a low strike inches wide.

Firmino almost put the Reds two in front when Jordan Henderson sent him through but Sergio Rico saved. But Coutinho's corner was flicked on by Firmino and Mane stooped down to head home in the 22nd minute.

And Liverpool got a third just on the half-hour mark when Mane's blistering run split the Spaniards' defence.

The Senegal star's shot was saved but Firmino was in position and had time to control it before tapping home as the 2,500-strong away support went wild and the home fans whistled in disapproval.

Sevilla came from behind when they beat Liverpool in the 2016 Europa League final but this was starting to look insurmountable for them.

The home fans were not waving the white handkerchiefs just yet though as Ben Yedder headed home Ever Banega's free-kick just six minutes after the break.

Sevilla 3 Liverpool 3: Reds crumble in Spain with shocking second half display
Roberto Firmino netted twice for Liverpool inside 30 minutes

It was a foolish free-kick to give away by Alberto Moreno as the left-back needlessly clattered into Pablo Sarabia. And the Spaniard gave his former club a penalty just before the hour mark when he stood on Ben Yedder's foot and the same man put away the spot-kick.

The striker needed two attempts after the first was ruled out for encroachment but Karius went to the opposite corner and he sent the German shotstopper the wrong way again.

Liverpool famously came back from three-down in the 2005 final in Istanbul but the tables were turned as Banega's stoppage-time corner was deflected into the path of home hero Pizarro.

SEVILLA (4-3-3): Rico; Mercado, Geis, Lenglet, Escudero; N'Zonzi, Banega, Pizarro; Sarabia, Ben Yedder, Nolito. Subs: Soria, Corchia, Krohn-Dehli, Correa, Navas, Muriel, Vazquez.

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Karius; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Coutinho; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Subs: Mignolet, Milner, Sturridge, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold.

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany).

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