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Liverpool 1-1 Rubin Kazan: Reds held in Europe by 10-man Russians

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Jurgen Klopp‘s first home game as Liverpool manager ended in disappointment, as the Reds were held to a 1-1 draw against 10-man Rubin Kazan on Thursday.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 22, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates the first goal against Rubin Kazan during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool 1–1 Rubin Kazan

Europa League – Anfield – Thursday 22nd October 2015

Goals: Can (37); Devic (15)

Sent-off: Kuzmin (36)

Pre-match

Klopp entered Anfield to a rapturous reception, with much buzz surrounding the 48-year-old’s maiden match in charge of Liverpool.

The German made just one change to the side that drew 0-0 at Tottenham last Saturday, signalling his intent in the Europa League this season.

Joe Allen was the man to come in, replacing Lucas Leiva in midfield, with Divock Origi again leading the line and James Milner, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana supporting the Belgian in attack.

Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino were back in the squad following injury, with the Reds’ two big-money summer signings on the substitutes’ bench.

The Anfield atmosphere was electric, as a potentially tricky 90 minutes against Rubin Kazan awaited.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 22, 2015: Liverpool's new manager Jürgen Klopp watches his side warm-up before the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against Rubin Kazan at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

First-half

It was a decent start by Klopp’s men, with Emre Can‘s long-range curler hitting the side-netting at the Anfield Road end. Nathaniel Clyne also scuffed an effort wide.

Anfield was stunned in the 15th minute, however. Marko Devic’s tremendous finish put his side 1-0 up, but Clyne will not be happy with his marking for the goal.

Adam Lallana almost equalised immediately, but the 27-year-old’s shot from outside the area drifted just wide of Sergei Ryzhikov’s post. The Englishman’s looping header just missed the target soon after.

Philippe Coutinho dragged a shot wide midway through the first-half, but there was a flatness about the home side’s performance overall.

The game then swung hugely in the space of a minute. Oleg Kuzmin was sent-off nine minutes before half-time, receiving a second yellow card after hauling down Can, and the young German equalised from close-range from the resulting free-kick.

It was the first goal of the Klopp reign, and proved to be the last real moment of note before the break.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 22, 2015: Liverpool's Emre Can celebrates scoring the first goal against Rubin Kazan during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Second-half

Lucas replaced Allen at the interval, and the Reds now had exactly the same eleven that started at Spurs in their last Premier League outing.

Despite Rubin Kazan having 10 men, Liverpool struggled to break down the visitors in the early stages of the second-half.

A harmless Coutinho free-kick was all the Reds could muster until the hour mark, and Benteke was introduced to the fray at the expense of the disappointing Brazilian.

It continued to be a very poor second-half performance from Liverpool, and a goal was desperately needed with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Benteke should have made it 2-1, but he side-footed his effort wildly into the Kop. The Belgian then hit the post with a precise finish.

Lallana’ fierce strike was well held by Ryzhikov, and that elusive winner simply wouldn’t come, despite a late onslaught.

It was a very disappointing result given the first-half red card, and the draw was further proof that it will take time for Klopp to truly make an impact at Anfield.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 22, 2015: Liverpool's Martin Skrtel in action against Rubin Kazan's Marko Devi? during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Allen (Lucas ’46), Milner, Lallana, Coutinho (Benteke ’63), Origi (Firmino ’74).

Subs not used: Bogdan, Toure, Ibe, Randall

Rubin Kazan: Ryzhikov, Kuzmin, Kverkvelia, Kambolov, Nabiullin, Carlos Eduardo (Portnyagin ’64), Ozdoev, Gokdeniz Karadeniz (Dyadyun ’81), Georgiev, Devic, Kanunnikov.

Subs not used: Haghighi, Lemos, Cotugno, Akhmetov, Bilyaletdinov

Man of the Match: Mamadou Sakho

Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer

Attendance: 42,951

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