A poor mistake from Dejan Lovren, who missed his kick, let Sevilla take the lead from close range at Anfield, but despite Liverpool fighting back to lead 2-1, further lacklustre play at the back meant Sevilla could make it 2-2 with 18 minutes left. Perhaps a point was more than they appeared to merit - but they truly clung to this match and got something pretty important in return.
Jurgen Klopp's side were impressive going forward against Sevilla, but they were made to pay for wasting their opportunities in the end.
"They were the two not so good things but pretty much the rest was good". Mohamed Salah's deflected 37th-minute effort gave them the lead but Firmino's unsuccessful penalty, which clipped the post, turned out to be pivotal.
"He was in and the doctor told me Mo Salah can train, but what would be best for him is if he doesn't have to", he explained. Tonight there was no magic, no zip to their play.
Sevilla's persistence was rewarded when Correa was given plenty of time to recover after miscontrolling the ball and shot beyond Loris Karius for the equaliser. We spoke before the game about how they switch off and how their first instinct isn't too defend and it was proved today.
Liverpool responded well despite going behind, and Roberto Firmino was the man to put his side back on track.
So it is obvious that Liverpool created the better of the chances, but just did not take them, and when you have a defence like Liverpool do, you can not afford to be missing such clearcut opportunities. But there will be no easing back into the competition, as Liverpool's first game is Sevilla, which beat Liverpool in the Europa League final past year. Defensively, though, Liverpool was weak in both legs against Hoffenheim; it could easily have conceded more than three goals in the tie.
Four minutes before halftime Liverpool had an opportunity to put the game beyond the Spanish when Nicolas Pareja fouled Mane and Firmino stepped up to take the penalty.
Perhaps that will involve him dropping deeper than usual, effectively becoming a third central defender to find the necessary space to construct Liverpool's possession play.
The Brazil playmaker was given a warm reception from Liverpool's fans but he didn't make a significant impact.
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