Liverpool 2, Sevilla 2
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp attempted to play down a confrontation with Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo and his staff after seeing his team drop two points in a frenetic opening Champions League fixture.
The Sevilla dugout accused Klopp of telling officials to send Berizzo to the stands in the second half, which they did after he tossed the ball away when Joe Gomez tried to take a throw-in, leading to angry scenes at the final whistle in which the Reds boss had to held back.
It followed a dramatic match in which the hosts responded to the shock of Wissam ben Yedder’s early strike with goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, only for Firmino to miss a penalty that could have sealed the win before Joaquin Correa equalised for the visitors and Liverpool defender Gomez was sent off.
“Do like this situation? Probably not. But I don’t think I had any influence on the decision of the ref. I didn’t ask for it,” Klopp said of Berizzo’s dismissal and the ensuing row. “We had a talk between us. Then probably the bench thought I was responsible for the red card and so they didn’t like me too much but it’s not a problem.”
Ben Yedder tapped in after just four minutes when Dejan Lovren failed to cut out a routine cross, although Firmino equalised midway through the first half from Alberto Moreno’s low centre.
Salah put Liverpool ahead with a heavily deflected 25-yard shot after the winger had dispossessed Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi and Firmino could have extended the lead just before half-time, but fired his spot-kick against the post.
Sevilla punished that wastefulness in the 72nd minute, Correa tucking past Loris Karius from a pass by Luis Muriel, who shot inches wide as the Spanish side chased a winning goal in stoppage time.
“It was an exciting game. Everyone saw our desire and our passion. We wanted to do it and in the end we got a point so it’s not too cool but it’s still a point,” Klopp added.
“We know we have to improve but there’s so much potential that we can work with this. It’s a draw. It doesn’t feel too good but with big parts of the performance I’m really fine.”