Liverpool were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw vs Sevilla at Anfield. The big talking point being the defence from the Reds and how it was easily breached despite dominating. The Spanish side were gifted the opening goal when Lovren failed to clear a simple cross. Liverpool managed to comeback with 2 goals and a missed penalty but midfield going to sleep for a Sevilla throw-in allowed Correa to run through and score 2-2.
Sadly for Liverpool, the game began with Sevilla getting a goal in early exchanges. Well, one thing is the opposition scoring against you with good movements and the other thing is you as a defender gifting a goal away. The latter was the case here with Lovren. The initial cross was meekly cleared by Gomez and Sevilla did well to get the ball wide for another cross. Escudero then puts a good ball across the six-yard area with Lovren making a hash of a simple clearance.
As you can see in the above image, the defender got himself into a good position to defend the cross. But, his body position is poorly laid back and this resulted in him failing to clear a simple ball. Ben Yedder did well to gamble there and stay in a position to punish Lovren for his mistake.
Anfield was shocked to see this start to a premier competition. The home side though, did well to reassert some confidence back with good movements from the front line. They created enough chances to get themselves back in the game. Some good movement from Moreno and patient passing at the edge of Sevilla box resulted in Liverpool’s equaliser.
Some patient passing around the Sevilla box resulted in space for Henderson and Moreno doing a swift one-two. The Spanish left-back continued his run with Henderson picking him out perfectly. A defensive mistake from Navas (as shown in the above image) not tracking the run resulted in time with the ball for Moreno. He picks out Firmino and the Brazilian slots home the equaliser.
Liverpool kept on creating chances with Sevilla struggling to cope with the high pressure game. Mohamed Salah put the home side in front with a deflected effort which wrong-footed keeper Rico. In the build-up, the Egyptian initially lost the ball but went back to win it. N’Zonzi was very weak at the edge of his own box and lost possession. This turnover created space for Salah to shoot and the deflection carried the ball in the goal.
As shown in the above image, N’Zonzi was just too weak in that situation with Salah wanting more. It was a controversial decision by the referee not to give the free-kick but it was a 50-50 situation where it could have gone either way. The striker got the benefit and made full use of it.
The second half had Sevilla dominating possession and Liverpool not able to counter with the pace as in first half. It is alarming to see the way they tired around the hour mark with this being September only. Mane really got wasteful with his possession work and Salah was ill a day before, so could have been subbed off after 60 minutes. But, the manager thought otherwise and kept both on until very late.
Sevilla got their equaliser when a throw-in was quickly taken with Can and Henderson caught on their heels. This allowed space for Muriel to turn and find Correa who got in between Lovren and Moreno.
As shown in the above image, a quick throw-in allowed Muriel to go behind Henderson. With Correa running beyond him in space, he picked out the right ball and the equaliser was finished expertly by the young Argentine. Another moment of slack defending by Liverpool, becoming a trend this at Anfield.
Well, what more to say regarding Liverpool’s defence. They keep dominating games and throw it away in the end. The penalty miss did keep Sevilla in the game but they didn’t create enough to scare the Reds’ defence. Two moments of really bad defending allowed the Spanish side to score two goals who just had 3 attempts throughout the game. Pointing any one player would be harsh but it is understood that without Lovren, this defence could do better.
This Liverpool team won’t win anything with this defensive structure. If they don’t buy any defender in January, the whole season might see Reds getting close to winning things and stay just short of the target.