The Reds looked on course for the win when Mohamed Salah scored the second of two goals in the final moments of the first half, converting from the penalty spot after Dominik Szoboszlai had been hauled down by Pascal Gross.
Minutes earlier Salah had pulled his side level when he slotted beyond Bart Verbruggen having been put through on goal by Harvey Elliott‘s pass.
Brighton had started the brighter and led after 20 minutes, a careless pass by Alisson in the Liverpool goal putting Alexis Mac Allister under pressure and letting in Simon Adingra to score with a clever early shot.
And De Zerbi’s side had the final word when Lewis Dunk turned in Solly March’s free-kick to salvage a point.
The Brighton boss was booked during the second half for remonstrating with the fourth official when he believed his side should have had a penalty for handball against Virgil van Dijk, with Klopp intervening on the touchline to try to placate the Italian.
Despite failing to see out the win, Liverpool’s manager talked up the impact that his counterpart has had since arriving on the south coast a little more than a year ago.
“I have to say I could not respect more what he is doing,” said Klopp.
“I’m a real supporter of it, I’m a football lover and if someone comes in with the impact he has on football, that shouldn’t be underestimated.
“In the moment when he got outraged, I used my age and tried to calm him down. I had no clue what they were talking about, I just saw them.
“If I am in a moment like this, there’s a moment of no going back that appears and I think he was close to that. I tried to calm him down.
“I’m not sure if he needed it or not. He told me something about a penalty but I had no clue what he was talking about. I think he wanted a penalty.”
The manager added he believed the outcome was fair after both sides wasted chances to win it, Liverpool when Ryan Gravenberch struck the crossbar at 2-1 before Joao Pedro blazed over from 10 yards for Brighton in the final minutes.
“I think unfortunately yes [the result was fair],” said Klopp.
“1-0, [the goal was] served on a plate. Then a similar situation, we forced them to make similar mistakes around our goals. 2-1 up is a good result for half-time here, it’s a really good team and it’s difficult to defend them.
“We wanted to do high pressing, it was the right thing to do. But in the same moment it caused the issue that they play out from time to time, we don’t win the ball and then the pitch is really big. They do that well.
“The second half we should have scored for 3-1, one or two really good opportunities. But because we don’t score there, we keep the game open.
“It was intense for both teams. I think it’s the right result in the end.”
De Zerbi reflected on a match he believed his team deserved to win but reiterated concerns about the ease with which Brighton have conceded goals this season.
“It’s a good point. I think we played better than Liverpool, especially the first half. We close the first half losing 2-1 but we conceded two goals in a very bad way. We didn’t understand how we were losing in that moment.
“In the second half they could have closed the game. In general I think it was a good game, both teams played well. At the moment I’m sorry because we’re conceding too many goals.
“We’re working a lot but maybe it’s not enough. Or maybe in football it can happen that you have a period where you conceded too many goals when you don’t deserve to.”