Liverpool: Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Rubin Kazan in a Europa League clash in new manager Juergen Klopp's first game in charge at Anfield, and he is not quite satisfied with the peformance of his wards.
Playing in front of their home fans, Liverpool conceeded an early goal in the Group B game when Marko Devic scored for Rubin Kazan after 15 minutes. The visitors were reduced to 10 men just before half time as their captain Olez Kuzmin had been sent-off.
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) gestures next to Rubin Kazan's Russian manager Valeri Chaly during their UEFA Europa League group B football match at Anfield in Liverpool, England, on Thursday night. Pic/AFP
Emre Can equalised from the resultant free-kick but although Liverpool enjoyed most of the possession for the rest of the game, the Russians held on for the draw despite playing with a man short for 50 minutes.
Having have drawn all three games in Group B so far, Liverpool occupy the second place behind FC Sion. But they now face away matches in Russia and Switzerland and can ill-afford to drop any more points.
But Klopp appears unfazed by the result and appeared confident that Liverpool will improve as the season wears on.
"I am not quite satisfied with my present tonight but it is only the first time. There will be other occasions, I will come again.
"Opponents who lose a man sometimes stop playing football and defend in a compact block. We had our moments, we hit the post in the second half through Christian Benteke, but in the end no goal. So I would say it was 98 percent OK, not perfect, the other two per cent is just down to decision making. We can still come back in Kazan. That is our challenge. It is not a master-class but not the worst day in my life," Klopp was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Friday.
"When you come for the first time in a new house, normally you have a present. I am not quite satisfied with my present tonight but it was only the first time and I will come again," he added.
"The team is not full of self-confidence and maybe they got a little bit lost. But we came back. Against 10 it's unthinkable sometimes. They had no counters, they stayed deep and we had to find solutions and we couldn't. We had lots of shots on goal, 35 I think, but only nine for the goalie."
Klopp also praised Rubin Kazan, who are currently in 12th place in the Russian domestic league.
"It was quite a big challenge, everyone could see they were not too bad. They were very experienced, very cool and they made a very good first goal. When they went down to 10 men they changed their game and that can be a challenge in itself," the former Borussia Dortmund manager remarked.
"It was a very interesting game, a big challenge because of the quality of Rubin. They were really good and made a first goal," the German added. "That is one of the biggest challenges in football. You need to restart in the game but we did it well and our goal before that they got the red card."