Liverpool Collapse, Lose 3-Goal Lead in Champions League Draw vs. Sevilla

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2017

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, right, runs with the ball past Sevilla's Pablo Sarabia during a Champions League group E soccer match between Sevilla and Liverpool, at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville, Spain, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)
Miguel Morenatti/Associated Press

Guido Pizarro netted in stoppage time as Liverpool collapsed from 3-0 ahead to draw 3-3 with Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Tuesday in Group E of the UEFA Champions League. 

The Reds were 3-0 up inside half an hour after almost identical goals from corners for Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and another from the Brazilian at the end of a rapid break. 

Sevilla then scored twice through Wissam Ben Yedder soon after the break to threaten a miraculous turnaround. 

Liverpool regrouped and looked to be heading for the win that would put them into the knockout rounds, but Pizarro netted with minutes remaining in the scramble from a corner to earn Sevilla an unlikely point. 

The Merseyside outfit are still top of Group E—one point ahead of Sevilla—and in a fine position to make it out the group stage for the first time since 2008-09.

They must avoid defeat when they host Spartak Moscow in the final group game to ensure they advance.

Both clubs provided their lineups ahead of kick-off:

The visitors were ahead through Firmino after just 88 seconds, with the forward tapping in from a tight angle at the far post after Georginio Wijnaldum's flick-on from a corner.

Sevilla looked vulnerable to Liverpool's attacking pace but came close to an equaliser in the 19th minute when Nolito was put through on goal. Goalkeeper Loris Karius did well to touch the effort on to the post.

A minute later Ben Yedder did beat Karius, but the ball slid wide of the post. At the other end, Firmino was denied by Sergio Rico.

But from the resulting corner, Mane netted an almost carbon copy of the opener, with Firmino this time providing the flick-on for the Senegalese to head home at the back post, per the Times' Oliver Kay:

Just before the half-hour mark, a simple long ball released Mane, and although Rico was equal to his effort to find the bottom corner, he could only parry to Firmino, who controlled and turned into an empty net. 

It looked as though the game was all over, but Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville thought otherwise:

And the former Manchester United defender was remarkably proved correct.

Sevilla's dominance from the start of the second half belied their shortcomings in the first, and they pulled one back six minutes after the break when Alberto Moreno, a former Rojiblanco, conceded a needless free-kick on the right.

Ever Banega swung in a delivery to the near edge of the six-yard box for Ben Yedder to head brilliantly into the far corner.

Just before the hour, Moreno conceded a penalty after bringing Ben Yedder down in the box. Although forced to retake the spot-kick after tucking into the right corner first time, Ben Yedder put the second effort into the left corner.

Liverpool were under siege, and, with Sevilla threatening an immediate equaliser, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp threw on James Milner and Emre Can to initially positive effect, per BBC 5 live Sport:

The visitors looked to have weathered the storm as the game moved into stoppage time, but there was one final twist.

Sevilla earned a corner, and when Liverpool failed to clear properly, the ball fell kindly for Pizarro to poke home through a jumble of bodies from eight yards. 

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