LONDON (Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp put a brave face on after watching his side throw away a lead with another poor defensive display in their Champions League encounter with Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday.
The Premier League side, competing in only their second Champions League group stage in eight years, had plenty of chances to win the game after coming from behind, but defensive lapses — and a penalty miss from Roberto Firmino — cost them two points as Sevilla salvaged a 2-2 draw.
Both opposition goals came from defensive mistakes.
Klopp, whose side lost 5-0 at Manchester City on Saturday, said he was happy with most of what he saw but rued the two goals conceded.
“It was pretty much a winning performance for 85, 86 minutes, and the team played well against a side who play well,” he told BT Sport. “We had answers for everything apart from the goals.
“It is a draw, it does not feel too good but I am fine with big parts of the performance.”
The German also denied playing a part in the sending-off of Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo.
“The coach was no problem, but I do not think I had any decision on the referee. I did not ask for it,” Klopp said.
“The people on their bench thought I was responsible for his red card and did not like me too much.”
Captain Jordan Henderson defended Firmino, who had scored Liverpool’s equaliser in the 21st minute before striking a post with a penalty just before halftime.
“Roberto Firmino has scored penalties for us before,” he told the broadcaster. “Players will always miss penalties.
“We had plenty more chances to score, so we need to be more ruthless and go three or four up. That is football and we have got done.”
Berizzo said Firmino’s penalty miss had given his side hope.
“Liverpool missing that penalty helped put us back in the game, (Pablo) Sarabia coming on helped us hold the ball and we played with much more order in the second half,” he told reporters.
“Even though we went ahead in the first half, it was really hard to contain their pace, especially wide.”
(Reporting by Neville Dalton; Editing by Toby Davis)