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Liverpool cannot maintain first-half intensity and pay for missed chances

Liverpool cannot maintain first-half intensity and pay for missed chances
From ESPN - September 13, 2017

Liverpool's return to Champions League action ended in frustration as their defensive vulnerability was exposed once again. Sevilla only had three chances but scored from two of them. A draw is not the end of the world, though, as Maribor and Spartak Moscow, who draw 1-1 on Wednesday, should not pose too much of a problem.

Positives

The first-half performance was excellent as Liverpool overcame the setback of conceding an early goal to hit back in style. Some of the football was thrilling and they were unfortunate not to score more than the two they managed.

Negatives

The second-half performance failed to match what went before. It started well enough but when the third goal did not arrive the Merseysiders quickly ran out of ideas and poor defending once again proved their undoing. They could even have lost in stoppage time when Sevilla missed a glorious opportunity to steal the three points.

Manager ratingout of 10

6 -- Jurgen Klopp selected the same starting XI that hammered Arsenal 4-0 so there ca not be any complaints about that, but these his players are conceding too many goals and he did little -- some would say nothing -- to address the problem in the summer. Liverpool have conceded 13 goals in just seven games so far this season.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Loris Karius, 6 -- Recalled in place of Simon Mignolet, he had no chance with either goal and had very little else to do. Much improved with his feet at least as, unlike in his last appearance, he did not invite any pressure by taking too long on the ball. DF Joe Gomez, 6 -- Steady enough for most of the game but began to struggle in the closing stages and his night ended early when he picked up a second yellow card in stoppage time. Seconds before that he'd allowed Luis Muriel to get behind him and was fortunate that the striker missed the target.

DF Joel Matip, 6 -- Most of his best work came when bringing the ball out of defence and attacking. That is Liverpool in a nutshell really; even their back four are better going forward than they are at defending.

DF Dejan Lovren, 4 -- Recalled to the side after being rested against Man City at the weekend, but his performance may have had some fans pining for Ragnar Klavan. Yes, he was that bad. Completely missed his kick and failed to make a routine clearance that led to Sevilla's opener and looked nervy and erratic throughout.

DF Alberto Moreno, 7 -- Partly to blame for the opening goal as he failed to get goal side, but he made up for that with some blistering play going forward. Moreno was sensational in the first half but sadly it did not last. He was also fortunate not to be sent off after the break for a couple of reckless challenges when already on a yellow card.

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