Jurgen Klopp has apologised for failing to deliver Liverpool a winning start on his Anfield house-warming after they were held 1-1 by Rubin Kazan.
The German manager received a rapturous welcome from the Anfield faithful ahead of the Europa League clash – but despite plenty of Liverpool pressure – the Russians held on for a point in their Group B encounter.
Sub Christian Benteke came closest to snatching a late winner when he hit a post, and the German coach admitted after that poor decision-making ruined his Anfield unveiling
“When you come to a new house you have a present. I am not quite satisfied with my present tonight, but it is only the first time and I will come again,” he said with a wry smile.
“It was a warm welcome and one of the best moments for me – which is important for all of us because people don’t think it is better I stay outside the stadium!
“I felt everything positive tonight and then I concentrate on the game. Ok today was not a master-class, but it was not the worst day of my life. And next game, we have to come back now.”
Liverpool fell behind after some poor defending allowed Blagoy Georgiev to score a brilliant goal for Kazan.
And it took the dismissal – a soft one when Emre Can went down easily to inspire a second yellow for the unfortunate Oleg Kuzmin – to allow the Reds any passage back into the game.
Can levelled soon after, but even though the Reds produced some better football in the final minutes after their frantic early efforts, they couldn’t find a winner. Klopp though, insisted his side are already on the right track.
“What we did today was better. Sometimes faster, sometimes more consequence. And we got into better positions. The guys tried,” he added.
“Of course, we could have defended better (for the first goal), but we had many shots on the goal, like 35, but only nine on the keeper.
“I would say 98 per cent not perfect, but ok. Two per cent not so good,and that was down to decision-making.
“We had moments where they could enjoy it, it was not boring, we had a game, we tried hard, we didn’t win, that’s all. Maybe it wasn’t the most world-changing game you ever saw…”
Klopp at least saw both Benteke and Roberto Firmino come through unscathed after being introduced as second half subs, and the pair could feature on Sunday.
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