Liverpool suffer more frustration as Sion hold out for draw

Meanwhile there draws for both Celtic and Tottenham as both continue to struggle

 

Liverpool 1 (Lallana 4’) Sion 1 (Assifuah 17’)

Liverpool’s Europa League campaign continues to stutter and disappoint in equal measure after they were held at home by Sion.

Adam Lallana’s fourth-minute strike — his second goal in as many European matches — was cancelled out by Ebenezer Assifuah and the Reds failed to change the 1-1 scoreline in the remaining 73 minutes.

After an identical result in their opening match in Bordeaux, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers stressed their form at Anfield would be the deciding factor.

He targeted three wins at home to get them out of Group B, but having now dropped two points they may have to recover those in either Kazan at the start of the Russian winter or in the return fixture against Sion in December.

On the evidence so far neither will be an easy task, especially considering Liverpool have won just one of their last nine matches in Europe since beating minnows Ludogorets at Anfield a year ago.

A side currently sitting fifth in a Swiss league of just 10 teams not only managed to keep their more illustrious opponents at bay but also bounced back from conceding early to earn a point.

Rodgers made seven changes from the win over Aston Villa, but just like Saturday’s victory the hosts got the early goal as, for the first time in the few brief spells he has had on the pitch, Divock Origi offered a hint of the potential Liverpool spent £10million on last year.

The 20-year-old Belgium international, whose only previous start came in Bordeaux a fortnight ago, produced a burst of pace which took him past Leo Lacroix on the right of the penalty area, from where he crossed for Lallana, who had come back from an offside position in the initial phase of play, to score.

A similar Origi run and deflected low shot presented Jordon Ibe — playing as a left wing-back with little success — with a chance at the far post, while Joe Allen delayed too long in shooting and eventually chose the wrong option in trying to play in Danny Ings, who could not celebrate his first call-up to the England senior squad with a goal.

And then, true to form, Liverpool conceded a soft equaliser when Nathaniel Clyne gave the ball away, and as it was transferred cross-field Joe Gomez stepped out leaving Ibe trailing behind Assifuah, who nipped in to shoot through Simon Mignolet’s legs.

Monaco 1 (El Sharraway 81’) Tottenham 1 (Lamela 35’)

Erik Lamela’s resurgence continued in Monaco but a late Stephan El Shaarawy header denied Tottenham victory in the Europa League.

It may have taken two seasons to find any consistency, but the £30 million club-record acquisition from Roma is at last fulfilling his promise.

Just days after the departure of oft-maligned technical director Franco Baldini, so key to the signing, Lamela began and ended a move that gave Spurs a deserved lead.

For much of the game it looked like Mauricio Pochettino’s men would follow up their impressive 4-1 defeat of Manchester City with another win, especially when their Argentinian winger tapped home after Dele Alli was denied on the day of his maiden England call-up.

Lamela’s finish was straightforward enough but the skill shown in starting the move was anything but, rolling the ball onto his right and playing in Nacer Chadli, who, like Harry Kane, could have netted in the opening period.

They were missed chances that Monaco capitalised on as the Group J encounter came to a close at the half-full Stade Louis II, with El Shaarawy’s header beating Hugo Lloris after taking a slight touch off Kieran Trippier.

Celtic 2 (Griffiths 28’, Commons 32’) Fenerbache 2 (Fernando 43’, 48’)

Efe Ambrose endured a personal Europa League nightmare as Celtic surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Fenerbahce at Parkhead.

Ronny Deila’s side were cruising the Group A fixture through goals from Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons until a horror mistake by the Nigeria defender two minutes from the break allowed substitute Fernandao to pull a goal back.

The Brazilian striker, on in the 40th minute for the injured Volkan Sen, headed in his second goal three minutes into the second half as Ronny Deila’s home side appeared still to be shell-shocked.

The visitors took control but the Parkhead side eventually composed themselves and deserved to finish with a point — it takes them to two points after two games — but will hope Ambrose’s error will not prove crucial by the time the group is completed.

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