Despite leading Sevilla 3-0 at half-time, Liverpool managed to ship three second-half goals in their UEFA Champions League tie against the Spanish outfit to settle for a solitary point and Reds midfielder Philippe Coutinho admitted the draw felt similar to a defeat.
“It wasn’t a good result, we almost felt like we do after a defeat,” Coutinho was quoted as saying by the club’s official website.
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A brace from Roberto Firmino and a strike from Sadio Mane had given the five-time champions a commanding lead with 45 minutes to go, but defensive errors enabled the hosts to come roaring back into the tie.
“We had a great first half and then in the second half we let everything unravel and so we were all feeling very frustrated. We have to stay awake all the time, 100 per cent. I think that the first half, the way we went into the game, we have to go into the second half (like that) too,” the twinkle-toed midfielder continued.
Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder reduced the deficit early on in the second-half and would convert a penalty on the hour-mark to get the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium up on its feet.
And Los Nervionenses midfielder Guido Pizarro would bundle in a 94th-minute equaliser to complete a memorable outing for the Andalusian outfit.
“And I think all of the players, we all switched off a little bit and we thought that at 3-0 it was going to be a little bit difficult for the opposition (to come back),” the 25-year-old Brazilian conceded.
“That’s what happens sometimes when you play football.”
However, Liverpool remain in control of their Champions League destiny and can still emerge as winners of Group E if they beat Spartak Moscow at Anfield in December. The Reds have nine points from five games, while Sevilla have eight and third-placed Spartak Moscow have eight with all sides having played five games.
Reflecting on that fact, Coutinho stated: “If you had offered us a draw (before the game) that would have been fine and (felt) better than the way the game went”.
“The problem is that we were 3-0 up and playing with great intensity and had a result that was going to be great but then they drew level and that frustrated us. But really, it’s a point for us and we are still top of the group, so it was an important point,” the Brazilian added.
The Reds now turn their attentions to the Premier League, where they face defending champions Chelsea at Anfield on Saturday. Currently in fifth place and 12 points behind leaders Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp’s men are realistically looking at competing for a top-four spot.
They have the chance of going level with the third-placed Blues should they beat them on Saturday and will look to build some momentum ahead of a hectic winter schedule.