Neil Humphreys: Liverpool can't win anything with this defence
Klopp can forget about trophies with current back four
In the 89th minute, Liverpool fans saw their entire season flash before them.
Under no pressure, Diego Lovren headed a simple clearance straight to a Sevilla opponent.
The crowd neither booed nor complained. Instead, a groan echoed across Merseyside.
As the sign in the tunnel reads, this is Anfield. This is the anti-climatic Anfield that hints at another frustrating season of hope and a whole lot of despair.
Juergen Klopp's men cannot defend. They really can't. Any further analysis is just about futile.
They couldn't stop Sevilla scoring twice in a 2-2 draw in the Champions League yesterday morning (Singapore time). They won't be able to stop half-decent opponents in the English Premier League either.
Liverpool attacked like princes and defended like paupers, a glaring inconsistency that seriously challenges the club's wayward recruitment policy.
The Reds kept Phillipe Coutinho, but failed to sign a central defender. In effect, they won a PR battle against Barcelona, but potentially lost the war for silverware.
Klopp must privately acknowledge that he can't win a trophy with this defensive lot. Liverpool's extraordinary firepower should ensure their progress from a mediocre Group E, but the knockout stages will expose their defensive frailties and undermine their transfer strategy.
As the games pass and the porous back five, including the goalkeeper, continue to leak goals, the awkward question will be asked. Was Virgil van Dijk the only available centre back in world football?
Liverpool sought praise for hanging on to Coutinho as those vultures from the Catalans descended, but then sought a degree of sympathy when Southampton did exactly the same with van Dijk.
The moment it became clear that the Saint would not be marching in to Anfield, Klopp and Co. had to shift their focus elsewhere in their search for alternatives.
Sevilla needed only five minutes to underline the folly of Liverpool's tunnel vision through the transfer window.
Joaquin Correa's whipped cross from the left offered a routine clearance for Lovren at the near post. The Croatian misjudged the path of the ball and pulled off a fresh-air kick usually witnessed in void-deck kick-abouts.
Human error is an intrinsic part of the game. It happens. But when the individual errors accumulate, the blame begins to shift from the pitch to the dugout.
Lovren gifted a goal in the fifth minute. Both centre backs vanished for Correa's equaliser in the 72nd minute, when the impressive Argentinian danced his way through the middle (a popular route for Liverpool's opponents at the moment).
In the 88th minute, Lovren shanked the simplest of passes into the stands, inviting Sevilla to press forward once more.
On that occasion, the crowd didn't hold back in expressing their frustration.
A minute later, the booing gave way to groans of exasperation, as if there was a collective realisation that this was as good as it's ever going to get.
Lovren's awful headed clearance symbolised the Liverpool way. From a promising position, he'd needlessly handed the initiative to his opponents.
From a neutral perspective, of course, Liverpool games are terrific, schizophrenic spectacles. You can't take your eyes off them. Brilliant going forward, brittle at the back, the distance between insanity and genius can be measured by the success of an Alberto Moreno run.
If Lovren encapsulated Liverpool's defensive frailties, Moreno defined their unbalanced play against Sevilla.
The Spaniard scampered along the left flank like a tongue-flapping pooch chasing a bone, proving a real nuisance for Sevilla right back Gabriel Mercado.
His quick, effervescent invention typified Liverpool's attackers around him.
But at the other end, Moreno made Jesus Navas look like the world-beater he never was at Manchester City.
Moreno picked up a yellow card for practically cutting his fellow Spaniard in half and was lucky to remain on the field after other rash challenges.
It's a serious problem for Klopp to solve. The left back's uncertainty gives colleagues a bad case of the golfer's yips. His twitchiness spreads. Everyone gets jittery.
Joe Gomez could have no complaints for his dreadful lunge in the 94th minute that earned a second yellow. He committed the pointless foul in midfield, the most glaring example of the nervous tension that afflicted his team.
Only Klopp and his employers know why they failed to sign a centre back and a left back, at least, during the transfer window.
But Liverpool's return to the Champions League group stages proved that they are not defensively equipped to join the European elite.
Never mind the likes of Barcelona, the Reds will struggle to keep a clean sheet against Burnley tomorrow.