Liverpool vs Sevilla: Five things we learned as individual errors cost Jurgen Klopp's side three points

Karius call could have waited but Coutinho rancour seems to have passed

Mark Critchley
Wednesday 13 September 2017 17:48 BST
Sevilla celebrate Joaquin Correa's equalising goal
Sevilla celebrate Joaquin Correa's equalising goal (Getty)

Individual errors must be cut out

While the mauling at Manchester City was put down as a collective failing, Sevilla’s goals here were products of the individual errors that have blighted Liverpool’s defence for some years now.

Klopp’s backline are, incredibly, one of the better defences in the Premier League in terms of limiting chances, but the chances they do concede are usually of a high quality.

Case in point: Yassim Ben Yedder’s opener, which saw the Sevilla marksman presented with an open goal to shoot at after Dejan Lovren made a complete hash of a routine clearance. It would be one of only two shots that the visitors would have for the rest of the half.

The first shot of the second half also resulted in a goal, with Joaquin Correa converting after more sloppy defending. This tendency to give up a few excellent opportunities is Liverpool’s biggest repeated failing and worst of all, it is a difficult problem to solve.

Karius call-up could have waited

To drop Simon Mignolet for Loris Karius in this game was a risk, but a calculated one according to Klopp. “If we don't give them a game then every year we have to find a number two, 33 years old, still can catch a few balls and doesn't want to play anymore,” he said. “That's really difficult to find someone like that.”

Yet if a lack of minutes is the issue, surely the visit of Burnley this weekend and next week’s EFL Cup trip to Leicester City would have been more suitable fixtures for Liverpool’s second-best goalkeeper to appear in? Karius did not have a poor night on the whole but the record books will show that Sevilla had two shots on target and scored with both.

It is worth noting that not one of the other world-renowned managers in charge of English clubs in this competition decided to do the same this week. Klopp clearly has faith in Karius but there are other, less risky occasions on which he could show it.

Klopp has an attack befitting of elite competition

For all the defensive issues, it was another night when Liverpool’s attack showed they have the potential to be among the best in Europe. Many around Anfield would have known that at the start of the night, but it is worth noting the relative inexperience of their three devastating forwards at this level.

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were both making their debuts in the Champions League proper, while Mohamed Salah had just 15 appearances in the group stages and beyond. No matter though, as the trio have the attributes to terrorise any defence that confronts them.

Questions only remain over their finishing. With the sheer number of opportunities their rapid counter-attacks created, not to mention Firmino’s missed penalty, Liverpool could have won this comfortably. Instead, the points were shared.

Coutinho saga will be forgotten, for now

Coutinho warms up on his return to Anfield (Getty)

Until very recently, with every mention of Philippe Coutinho’s name on social media networks, a snake emoji would follow shortly after. Yet you would not have known it from the reception he received on this, his first night back at Anfield since handing in a transfer request last month.

The Brazilian was granted the loudest cheer of any player when the teamsheets were read out and was warmly received while jogging up and down in front of the Main Stand. By the time he took his tracksuit top off and entered the fray, all four corners were on their feet, hoping their prodigal son could restore a Liverpool lead.

It seems, for now, the rancour of the transfer window has passed and the club’s support is ready to rally behind Coutinho. The question is, how long will that last?

Moreno selection is always a gamble

The strange rebirth of Alberto Moreno’s Liverpool career continued and in keeping with the rest of the evening, it was nothing if not chaotic. He certainly brings an element to Liverpool’s attack that James Milner simply did not have. He comes alive in the transition, his movement in the build-up to Liverpool’s equaliser was sublime and the assist that followed was deserved.

Yet it would not be a Moreno performance without critical lapses in concentration. He was not solely at fault for Correa’s equalising goal but it could have been prevented had he shown an uncharacteristic amount of awareness.

The trade-off with Moreno is a simple one. You swap defensive confidence for that little something extra in the final third. Sometimes it pays off, other nights it does not.

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