Liverpool have suffered their second pre-season defeat in the space of 48 hours courtesy of losing 2-1 to Sevilla in a heated encounter in Boston.
Alejandro Pozo netted a late winner for the Spanish side after Divock Origi had cancelled out Nolito’s earlier effort, although the headlines will be dominated by Sevilla’s approach to the game.
The La Liga team were fortunate to keep 11 men on the pitch during the first half, but the referee had no option but to dismiss Joris Gnangon for a late, aggressive challenge on Yasser Larouci.
Liverpool started the game brightly with Origi being denied by Sergio Rico after being played through on goal, although Sevilla should have gone ahead moments later as Diego Carlos sent a free header over the crossbar.
The chances continued to come thick and fast with Luuk de Jong volleying wide from the penalty spot, before the Dutchman was superbly kept out by Liverpool’s stand-in goalkeeper Andy Lonergan after being played through on goal.
Lucas Ocampos was the next player to try his luck, fizzing a shot from distance just wide of the far post, and it was a further reminder to Liverpool that they needed to regain their concentration.
De Jong failed to net yet again, this time with a free header from a right-wing cross, but an equal talking point was the physicality of Sevilla, who were treating the game as anything but a pre-season friendly.
However, they eventually let their football do the talking by taking the lead in the 37th minute as Nolito found the top corner of Lonergan’s net with a brilliant first-time finish from 14 yards.
Liverpool had been largely second best but they got themselves back on level terms just before the break through Origi, who was on hand to fire home at the back post after Nat Phillips had got a flick on from a corner.
As a result of the intense heat in Boston, Jurgen Klopp opted to make as many as 11 changes at the break, while Sevilla counterpart Julen Lopetegui made nine alterations.
Both teams took their time to create anything of note after the restart, although Simon Mignolet had to be alert to keep out Munir El Haddadi’s first-time strike from 15 yards shortly before the hour mark.
Curtis Jones had a chance to put Liverpool into the lead as the game entered the final quarter, with the youngster being denied at close range by Tomas Vaclik.
However, tension once again boiled over with 14 minutes left, and Gnangon was deservedly handed a straight red card for a vicious late tackle on 17-year Larouci.
The youngster had to be withdrawn – resulting in a chance for Bobby Duncan – but despite being reduced to 10 men, Sevilla found a winning goal in the final minute as Pozo found the back of the net after poor marking from the Liverpool backline.