A late strike from Bordeaux cancelled out a fine individual goal from Adam Lallana and denied a makeshift Liverpool side an opening win in the Europa League. Bordeaux had enjoyed the better of the chances but been unable to finish, before midway through the second half Lallana cleverly turned and skipped past a defender in the box before rolling a composed shot into the far corner of the net. But the visitors to the Nouveaux Stade de Bordeaux couldn’t hold on, and Jussie slammed a shot home with nine minutes remaining after Liverpool failed to clear in the box.
The goal denied Brendan Rodgers what would have been a welcome victory after back-to-back Premier League defeats saw pressure increase yet further on the Liverpool boss. Yet, he will derive some comfort from his unfamiliar team claiming a point on the road ahead of taking on Sion and Rubin Kazan at Anfield. And Rodgers will know that it is his team’s performances in the Premier League that are likely to ultimately decide his fate. With that realization surely in mind, his lineup in France featured eight changes to the side that lost 3-1 to Manchester United on Saturday.
Of those that came in, Lallana could take a particular boost from one of his most notable contributions in a Liverpool shirt in what was his first appearance since going off injured on the opening weekend of the season. Philippe Coutinho was lively, too, as he returned from his suspension at the weekend. And the Brazilian was responsible for Liverpool’s best moment of the first half when he struck a superb shot against the post just before the interval. In just his second start for the club, 18-year-old midfielder Jordan Rossiter also acquitted himself well.
Elsewhere, though, there were also concerns. Rodgers reverted to a back three, but his defense was exploited on more than one occasion. In fact, twice in the opening half, Bordeaux got in behind down the left side, but first Diego Rolan and then Wahbi Khaziri failed to finish. Shortly before Coutinho struck the woodwork, Khaziri was also given license to drive through the heart of the Liverpool team before hitting a tame shot straight at Simon Mignolet.
Up front Divock Origi was handed his first Liverpool start, but made little impact. His most notable contribution was striking wide when being played through on goal before turning around in relief to see an offside flag raised.
After Lallana's fine piece of skill broke the deadlock, Liverpool’s defense failed to cover themselves in glory as Bordeaux pulled level. Joe Gomez failed to strip the ball as Enzo Crivelli juggled the ball in the box, and Emre Can’s intervention took it to the feet of Jussie who finished into the roof of the net without hesitation.