Bordeaux 1 Liverpool 1: Lallana magic fails to seal win
Adam Lallana marked his return to first-team action with Liverpool in style before Jussie snatched a late equaliser for Bordeaux in a 1-1 Europa League draw
Brendan Rodgers left six first-team regulars at home for the Group B clash and was forced to endure a perhaps inevitably disjointed first-half showing before Lallana illuminated the contest.
The England midfielder had not featured for a month thanks to a thigh injury but starred with an excellent solo effort midway through the second half at the Nouveax Stade de Bordeaux.
However, home substitute Jussie was on hand to ensure a share of the spoils nine minutes from time, denying Rodgers a morale-boosting win on the back of consecutive top-flight losses.
Jordan Rossiter and Divock Origi started for Liverpool amid seven changes to the XI that lost 3-1 at Manchester United on Saturday and the Belgium striker teed up Philippe Coutinho to drag wide left-footed in the fifth minute.
Rodgers reverted to 3-4-3 formation as part of his selection reshuffle and the visitors' backline was unpicked by a raking ball towards Diego Rolan, but the Uruguay forward lifted his shot onto the roof of the net.
Another Bordeaux opening arrived in the 18th minute, Wahbi Khazri firing over after Nicolas Maurice-Belay was allowed room in the area to cut the ball back.
In between those opportunities, Kolo Toure collided with Simon Mignolet when the Liverpool goalkeeper charged out to clear a set-piece and the experienced defender was forced off before the half-hour.
It meant a senior debut from the bench for 18-year-old Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella, with Emre Can dropping into the back three before the unscathed Mignolet held a deflected 33rd-minute free-kick from Henri Saivet.
A mazy run from Khazri might have given Bordeaux the lead their first-half display merited, although they were almost behind when Coutinho clattered the post with a trademark long-range strike in injury time.
Liverpool played with greater control early in the second half, much to the credit of the teenage Rossiter-Chirivella midfield pairing, and a slick turn and shot from Lallana in the 58th minute drew the first save of note from Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso.
The hosts responded with captain Saivet – who collected both a goal and a red card in the 2-2 draw at Paris Saint-Germain last Friday – meeting a corner at the near post and heading into the side-netting.
The breakthrough almost arrived in the 63rd minute as Mignolet saved from Maurice-Belay at close quarters and Enzo Crivelli was unable to adjust and turn the ball into an unguarded net.
Liverpool made the most of that let-off two minutes later as Lallana collected a short pass from Alberto Moreno on the left flank, nutmegged Pablo and slotted a shot beyond Carrasso into the far corner.
Danny Ings, on for Origi, almost made the points safe in the 74th minute as he also found Pablo wanting but was denied by Carrasso.
It was another replacement who would complete the scoring - Jussie feeding Crivelli and continuing his run to lash home the loose ball when Can ended his team-mate’s impromptu bout of keep-ups.
A skidding low drive from Moreno almost stole the points for Liverpool but Carrasso was equal to the task.