Liverpool verdict - It's just too easy to score against this side, as Jurgen Klopp's men press the self-destruct button

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Liverpool's big night fell decidedly flat. A sense of anti-climax hung over Anfield at the final whistle.

Rather than marking their Champions League return by showing how far they have come, the Reds illustrated that old habits die hard.

From a position of total control, Jurgen Klopp's side carelessly tossed away two precious points.

Just like in the Europa League final in Basel 14 months earlier, Sevilla gleefully accepted the gifts they were presented with.

Liverpool's propensity to press the self-destruct button borders on the ridiculous.

This was a contest they should have won at a canter after comprehensively outclassing the La Liga outfit. However, they failed to kill them off and Sevilla were able to cash in on Liverpool's glaring defensive frailties.

The opening stages of this season have exposed the folly of the club's failure to sign a top-class centre-back this summer. Virgil van Dijk may have proved out of reach but there should have been a Plan B. A major weakness simply wasn't addressed.

After Ragnar Klavan's chastening afternoon against Manchester City, this time Dejan Lovren found himself in the firing line. The Croatian's embarrassing blunder enabled Wissam Ben Yedder to fire Sevilla into an early lead.

Liverpool hit back as goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah put them firmly in the ascendancy.

On a night when Maribor and Spartak Moscow drew 1-1, Liverpool should have put down a real marker in Group E. The hosts created a stack of chances either side of Firmino's missed penalty.

It didn't look like it would matter but then the Reds got sloppy. Another glaring lapse in concentration was punished when Joaquin Correa equalised.

Sevilla had two shots on target and netted twice. It's simply too easy to score against this Liverpool side.

Just as alarming as the nature of the goals conceded was the manner in which Klopp's side lost their composure and their shape late on, which culminated in Joe Gomez getting sent off for a second yellow.

Lovren and Jordan Henderson were the only survivors from the last time Anfield hosted a Champions League group game nearly three years ago.

On that occasion Liverpool crashed out after a dour 1-1 draw with Basel and it's been a long road to get back among Europe's elite.

Anfield was in defiant mood as You'll Never Walk Alone was belted out prior to the competition's iconic anthem.

There was no dwelling on the debacle at the Etihad, nobody feeling sorry for themselves as the noise levels were cranked up and the Reds responded.

Liverpool flew out the blocks with livewire Sadio Mane leading the charge before serving his domestic ban. However, they were rocked by Lovren's error which handed Sevilla the lead inside five minutes.

There appeared to be little danger when Sergio Escudero crossed low from the left.

However, inexplicably, Lovren allowed the ball to slip under his boot at the near post and Ben Yedder was handed a simple tap-in.

It was an wretched error which would have looked out of place in the Birkenhead Sunday League, let alone the Champions League.

To their credit, Klopp's side rallied and produced a real show of force which should have yielded more than a one-goal lead by the interval.

The front three of Mohamed Salah, Firmino and Mane caused the La Liga outfit a stack of problems with their blistering pace, intelligent movement and slick interplay.

They were helped by a big improvement from Klopp's engine room as Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson moved the ball quickly and with purpose.

Wijnaldum's strike was deflected just wide before Sergio Rico thwarted Mane and Firmino nodded just over.

Sevilla were on the back foot and much to Klopp's disgust they resorted to kicking lumps out of Mane and Firmino.

It was one-way traffic and midway through the first half Liverpool finally restored parity.

Alberto Moreno played a slick one-two with Henderson and the Spanish left-back's cross put the equaliser on a plate for Firmino.

Joaquin Correa of Sevilla celebrates scoring his side's second goal

Liverpool were breathtaking on the counter-attack at times. When Joel Matip won the ball back deep inside his own half, they charged at the white shirts in front of them.

Salah, Wijnaldum and Mane combined to tee up the erratic Emre Can, who drilled inches wide of the far post. Klopp cursed their misfortune before urging the fans behind him to recognise the quality of the build up.

Loris Karius had little to do after being preferred to Simon Mignolet and the German keeper couldn't be blamed for the goals he conceded.

Eight minutes before the break Liverpool deservedly led. It was testament to Salah's perseverance as he chased after Steven N'Zonzi and picked his pocket.

His left-footer struck the boot of Simon Kjaer and looped beyond the helpless Rico.

When Moreno flopped so badly during the Reds' second-half capitulation against Sevilla in the Europa League final, his Anfield career looked over.

He spent last season in purgatory – sat on the bench watching on as James Milner played ahead of him.

This summer he was expected to depart. Liverpool were willing to sell him for £15million but Klopp shelved those plans after being impressed by his pre-season revival.

Here Moreno showcased his resurgence. He was combative defensively and a threat going forward, whipping in some fine deliveries from the left.

It was his header which led to Mane earning a penalty after being wrestled to the ground by Nicolas Pareja.

Firmino couldn't take advantage as he struck the spot-kick against the post. The Kop put a collective arm around the Brazilian as they chanted his name vociferously.

Sevilla continued to chase shadows with Moreno forcing a smart save from Rico after Salah and Firmino had tormented the visitors.

The second half brought more of the same with Liverpool dominating but unable to find the ruthless streak required to put the game to bed.

Sevilla's frustration was evident when boss Eduardo Berizzo threw the ball away to stop Gomez from taking a throw. Berizzo was banished to the stands with chants of 'adios' ringing in his ears.

Sevilla manager Eduardo Berizzo is sent to the stands

Can's piledriver was inadvertently blocked by Firmino before Wijnaldum's effort was unconvincingly kept out by Rico.

Liverpool were cruising but with 18 minutes to go they shot themselves in the foot. They switched off from a throw-in as substitute Luis Muriel was allowed to feed Correa, who curled it past Karius.

Klopp summoned Philippe Coutinho from the bench. The cheers that greeted the Brazilian's introduction told him that the events of this summer will be forgiven if not forgotten.

Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain followed late on, but Sevilla came closest to grabbing a winner when Muriel slotted wastefully wide.

With Gomez's red card, it was a miserable end to a night which should have delivered so much more.

MATCH FACTS

Liverpool: Karius, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Can (Coutinho 76), Wijnaldum, Salah (Oxlade-Chamberlain 89), Firmino, Mane (Sturridge 83). Not used: Mignolet, Milner, Klavan,, Robertson.

Sevilla: Rico, Mercado, Pareja, Kjaer, Escudero, N'Zonzi, Banega, Pizarro (Sarabia 45), Navas (Corchia 83), Ben Yedder (Muriel 69), Correa.

Not used: Soria, Carrico, Krohn-Dehli, Vazquez.

Referee: Danny Makkelie (Holland)

Attendance: 52,332

Goals: Ben Yedder 5, Firmino 21, Salah 37, Correa 72

Bookings: Moreno, Gomez, Mercado, Pareja, Banega

Red card: Gomez (second yellow)

Man of the match : Sadio Mane. Led the charge brilliantly before fading in the second half.