Sunday 19 November 2017

Klopp settles for draw on Anfield debut

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had to settle for a draw in his first game at Anfield, after the Reds' Europa League draw with Russian side Rubin Kazan.

Liverpool were dealt an early setback when Rubin took the lead in the 15th minute through Marko Devic.

The striker shook off the challenge of Nathaniel Clyne to finish past Simon Mignolet and stun the boisterous Kop into silence.

Matters didn't improve for Liverpool as the half wore on with Liverpool failing to break down a well-marshalled Kazan defence.

However, the home side got the break they needed in the 36th minute with a double-blow for the Russians.

Firstly, captain Oleg Kuzmin was sent-off for a second bookable offence after pulling down Emre Can on the left wing.

Then, from the resultant free-kick, Philippe Coutinho's pin-point ball found the head of Divock Origi who nodded the ball into the path of German international Can who levelled matters from close range. Klopp replaced the ineffectual Joe Allen at half-time with Lucas Leiva as Liverpool sought to make their numerical advantage count.

Coutinho had Liverpool's best chance to hit the front in the 61st minute but his shot inside the box went wide.

And that was the Brazilian's last action as he was taken off in place of Christian Benteke.

Klopp also sent on Roberto Firmino in place of Origi, put Liverpool failed to break down Kazan. Benteke should have scored in the 74th minute but his volleyed effort went over the bar from nine yards.

The Belgian international came even closer in the 80th minute when his shot rebounded off the butt of the right-hand post as the hosts began to take a stranglehold on the game.

Can then hit a 25-yard effort on target but it was tipped over the bar.

It was all Liverpool now, but Rubin continued to frustrate them and their efforts were rewarded with a Group B point.

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