Divock Origi netted as Liverpool lost 2-1 to Sevilla, but the game was marred by a potentially serious injury to Yasser Larouci.
The young left-back was stretchered off after being kicked in the shin by Joris Gnagnon, who was shown a straight red card, with 15 minutes left at a sweltering Fenway Park in Boston.
Sevilla had earned a deserved first-half lead in front of a hugely partisan Liverpool crowd when Nolito fired past debutant Andy Longeran, but Origi netted a minute before the break when he tapped home Nathaniel Phillips’ header from a corner.
Wholesale changes from both sides at half-time led to a disjointed second half which Gnagnon’s red card did little to aid, but with 10-man Sevilla soaking up late pressure from Liverpool they sprung a late surprise on the break, finding Munir in the channel before he crossed for young substitute Alejandro Pozo to fire a late winner past Simon Mignolet at the second attempt.
A sweltering evening in Boston couldn’t deny a blood-and-thunder game at Fenway
Park, which began brightly with Origi denied by Sergio Rico inside the opening moments.
But from there Sevilla took control and exposed Liverpool’s defensive rust with a number of good chances, the best bringing a fine save from debutant goalkeeper Lonergan, who stood tall to deny Luuk de Jong one-on-one.
Diego Carlos was guilty of missing another chance when he lost Virgil van Dijk at a corner and nodded over, but Nolito would make no such mistake when he received Lucas Ocampos’ deflected cross and turned inside before curling the ball into the top corner eight minutes before the break.
Liverpool found some signs of life from that wake-up call, and finally stretched Sevilla’s defence a minute before the break when Ben Woodburn found Trent Alexander-Arnold, and his cross was nodded behind by Jesus Navas.
He delivered from the resulting corner too, from which Phillips’ header fell at the feet of Origi and he tapped home from six yards.
Half time resulted in 11 changes from Liverpool and nine from Sevilla and led to a disjointed second half, with Sevilla content to soak up Liverpool pressure and occasionally hit them on the break.
It was from one such move that they nearly restored their lead, as Moanes Dabour’s lovely switch of play found Munir in space on the right, and he forced Mignolet into a flying save before the rebound was fired straight at the substitute goalkeeper.
Liverpool’s young forward line struggled to find their collective rhythm but they did come close through Curtis Jones, who was found after Rhian Brewster’s persistence paid off as he robbed Sergio Escudero and crossed into the middle, where the midfielder was denied by Tomas Vaclik’s smart save.
But then came the defining moment of the game. Frustrated that a late challenge from Dejan Lovren moments before had not been punished, Gnagnon took matters into his own hands as Larouci danced through the Sevilla midfield and took a swipe at the Liverpool defender, catching him on the shin and leaving him requiring a stretcher – and earning a red card for his troubles.