Jordan Henderson has frankly admitted Liverpool ‘let themselves down’ after their latest implosion in a big game away from home.
Liverpool stayed in Sevilla in Wednesday as the intention was to do a warm weather training session ahead of Saturday’s collision with Chelsea but the day will have taken on the feel of a post mortem following the calamitous manner they allowed a 3-0 first half lead to become a 3-3 draw.
They now face an anxious final night against Spartak Moscow that will determine whether they progress to the Champions League knockout phase or drop into the Europa League after Christmas; to throw away such a glorious opportunity was absurd.
Jordan Henderson admitted Liverpool ‘let themselves down’ after imploding against Sevilla
Henderson (2nd left) looks to the ground after Guido Pizarro’s (3rd right) late winner in Spain
Henderson, Liverpool’s captain, did not try to offer any excuses for the performance he and his team-mates produced in the second half. Instead, he bemoaned the manner in which they capitulated and was at a loss how the levels of their display were so wildly differing.
‘We have let ourselves down,’ said Henderson. ‘The performance in the second half undid all the good work we did in the first. We were disciplined, kept the ball at the right times, scored brilliant goals and defended well. Even though I thought they had good chances in the first half I thought we defended well.
‘It just felt as though we didn’t start well in the second half, straight from the kick off, and we didn’t recover. They scored the first and the crowd got up. They started to have a good go and it becomes difficult then.
‘We didn’t play as much as football as we should have, the biggest thing for us was we stopped playing, stopped getting the ball up to the front three, they were getting it back cheaply and it invites pressure.
Reds captain Henderson (2nd right) did not try to offer any excuses for the performance
‘We are really disappointed. It doesn’t feel good but at the same time when we come to look at the table it is still in our own hands. We are top of the group, we have to try and stay positive.’
This is another performance that has given Liverpool’s critics ammunition. Sevilla were always going to present a different test compared to the ones they had been presented with by Southampton, Maribor, West Ham and Huddersfield, the sides they had beaten in a four match winning spree.
That they fluffed their lines just raises more questions about the mentality of the squad, given they capsized in their other big away games this season against Manchester City (5-0 defeat in September) and Tottenham (4-1 defeat in October). Henderson is well aware that it has put Liverpool back in the spotlight.
‘We have to try and stay positive,’ said Henderson. ‘If you look at the first half there were positives to take from the game and in the second half we still had chances late on to go 4-2 up. But we have to learn from it as best we can and make sure that if we are ever in that position again (with such a good lead) it does happen again.’
The 27-year-old reminded fans they are still top of the group and must remain positive
His sentiments were echoed by Gini Wijnaldum who said: ‘I don’t think it is a bad result to get a draw in Seville but the way we gave it up I don’t think is a good sign.
‘It is painful when you look back at the game but we have to go again Saturday. We have to speak with each other, lift each other up, put this behind us and concentrate on Chelsea.
‘On paper it is a good result. The good thing is we still have it in our own hands and we have to win against Spartak Moscow to go to the next round.’