SEVILLE: Sevilla’s Guido Pizarro scored a 93rd-minute equaliser to complete an incredible comeback from three goals down to draw 3-3 against Liverpool on Tuesday in a pulsating Champions League Group E clash.
Liverpool were on the verge of sealing qualification to the last 16 for the first time since 2009 but Pizarro stabbed home from a corner deep into stoppage time to deny them.
Sadio Mane headed home in between two Roberto Firmino strikes to put Liverpool three goals up within 30 minutes, but Sevilla came back from the dead after the break.
Wissam Ben Yedder netted twice before Pizarro’s late equaliser, leaving Liverpool top with nine points, Sevilla second with eight and Spartak Moscow third with six, after they drew 1-1 with Maribor in the group’s other game.
Liverpool, who won the Champions League in 2005 after coming from three goals down against AC Milan in the final, were given a taste of their own medicine at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan and must now avoid defeat against Spartak to qualify in their final group game on Dec. 6.
Juergen Klopp’s side tore into the hosts from the off with Firmino pouncing in the second minute after Georginio Wijnaldum flicked Philippe Coutinho’s corner into his path.
Mane doubled the lead in the 22nd minute as Liverpool scored an almost identical goal to their first. This time it was Firmino flicking Coutinho’s corner into the path of Mane, who dived in to head home.
Mane turned provider eight minutes later as Liverpool shredded Sevilla’s defence to score their third, with his shot tipped into Firmino’s path by Sergio Rico, leaving the Brazilian to tap home.
Liverpool’s attacking quartet of Mane, Mohamed Salah, Firmino and Coutinho was proving a nightmare for the Andalusians and they had chances to add to the Reds’ haul before the break.
Yet just as in the first match between these sides which finished 2-2 at Anfield, Liverpool’s defensive frailties were exposed.
Eduardo Berizzo’s side came out determined to find a way back into the game and two Alberto Moreno errors helped them on their way.
The Spanish left-back helped out his former club by conceding a silly foul to the right of the area and Ever Banega’s free-kick was headed in by Ben Yedder in the 51st minute.
Moreno then brought down the French striker in the area with a clumsy, badly-timed stamp just before the hour mark and Ben Yedder found the net with the resulting penalty twice, after his first effort was disallowed for encroachment.
Franco Vazquez struck the crossbar as Sevilla frantically searched for the equaliser, which eventually came when Pizarro forced the ball home from close range after a corner was half-cleared.