Liverpool have only ever met Sevilla twice since their inception as a football club, a somewhat surprising statistic given the two clubs esteemed European campaigns in the past, and in recent years. Here we’ll look at those meetings as well as how Sevilla have coped with English opposition in the past and Liverpool like-wise with Spanish opposition in recent years.
The last time out.
The most recent meeting between the two clubs was the first tie between them in the current group stages. The game was played at Anfield on the 13th of September, and eventually ended in a disappointing 2-2 draw for the reds. Ben Yedder put the Spaniards ahead just 5 minutes in, after Dejan Lovren slipped clearing a stray ball, but goals from Bobby Firmino and Mo Salah put Jurgen Klopp’s side in the driving seat. It was then that Liverpool were given the chance to collect all 3 points after a penalty was awarded, but Firmino scuppered the opportunity, striking the post from the spot.
Sevilla were ruthless in their reply, with Correa scoring for Sevilla with 18 minutes to go, this was to be only their second shot on target of the game, and their second goal. Further disappointment awaited as Joe Gomez received a debateable second yellow card, and Sevilla went close to nabbing all 3 points in injury time, a disappointing end to what at one point seemed to be a promising game for Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp was notably annoyed with the result but pleased with the way his side played, “It was pretty much a winning performance for 85-86 minutes and the team played well against a side who play well. We had answers for everything apart from the goals.”, going on to admit that “We know we have to improve but there is so much potential and we can work with this.”
Fear and loathing in Basel.
The two have met on one other fateful occasion, this time it was bitterly disappointing for the reds. The 3-1 loss in the Europa League final, the 18th of May 2016. Despite going ahead from an exquisite Daniel Sturridge finish, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool would suffer a second cup final defeat in the Germans firsts season at the helm, after they had already conceded the League Cup to Manchester City.
Despite going into the half time break 1-0 up it would only take until the 60’ for Liverpool to find themselves behind. Sevilla’s spirited comeback came courtesy of a Kevin Gameiro goal just 17 seconds into the second half, and two Coke goals in the 64th and 70th minutes. Liverpool had no reply to the brutal onslaught, simply unable to cope with the attacking display put on by the Spaniards.
After what had been a European campaign nothing short of magical, it all ended with a whimper. The catastrophic second half collapse was met with unbridled anger from fans and pundits alike as Jamie Carragher (in?) famously called on Klopp to rid of Moreno in a post-match tweet, which was later deleted.
Whilst Mark Lawrenson was left to lament the lack of leadership in the side post-match, “Experience was key after conceding,” said the 1984 European Cup winner, “Where was the central defender or captain saying ‘circle the wagons for 20 minutes – we do not concede and we get ourselves back into game‘? That is something Liverpool just didn’t do.”
Neither side have had many meetings with the others compatriots in recent years, as Liverpool have struggled in Europe, when they actually got there. The most recent meeting between Liverpool and a Spanish side barring Sevilla were the two groups games against Real Madrid under Brendan Rodgers, a 3-0 drumming and a more encouraging 1-0 loss, not a lot to go on. Regardless here’s the run down on their meetings with other Spanish / English sides.
Sevilla have met English opposition 14 times in the past, opponents including Arsenal, Bolton, Everton, Manchester City, Middlesbrough and Spurs have all gone up against the Spaniards. Sevilla’s eight UEFA meetings with English sides have seen them win 3, draw 2, and lose 3, including their 4-0 win against Middlesbrough in the 2006 UEFA Cup final, a line-up that featured one Stewart Downing.
Liverpool have 34 UEFA games against Spanish opposition under their belt, these games have left the Reds with 14 wins, 10 draws and 10 losses, including the 1-0 win against Real Madrid in the 1981 European Champion Clubs’ Cup, and the famous 5-4 win against Alaves in the 2001 UEFA Cup final.
As it stands.
The Reds sit top of the group on 8 points, having beaten Maribor comfortably twice, and remain unbeaten after draws against the other two sides, Sevilla and Spartak Moscow. Sevilla remain only a point below them having lost their game against Spartak Moscow previously. It will be a tough ask for Liverpool if form is anything to go by, but a win could see the Reds guarantee a first-place finish, if Maribor take anything from Spartak in the other group game.
Article by Jamie Keogh