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Liverpool lessons: Klopp's wind of change?

Jürgen Klopp's European debut as Liverpool manager may have resulted in the same 1-1 result as the previous two Group B games but Simon Hart draws lessons from the boss's Anfield bow.

Jürgen Klopp is proving popular with the Liverpool fans but what has he changed?
Jürgen Klopp is proving popular with the Liverpool fans but what has he changed? ©Getty Images

"Tonight is not a masterclass but it is not the worst day in my life." Jürgen Klopp hit the nail on the head with this summing-up of his first home match as Liverpool manager last night, the 1-1 home draw with Rubin Kazan taking them onto three Group B points.

It was not the win he would have wanted as Liverpool failed to take advantage of Rubin playing with ten men for 54 minutes, yet as 1-1 draws go it was still a whole lot better than the Reds' display at home against Sion three weeks earlier. Here UEFA.com considers the lessons learned from the former Borussia Dortmund coach's Anfield debut.

The normal one
Klopp described himself at his opening press conference as Liverpool manager as "the normal one" and his Anfield introduction was suitably low-key. While the flags were out in force on the Kop and the club's American owners made a rare appearance in the directors' box, there was no great fanfare before kick-off to mark his first match.

Before the game he was on the pitch watching his side warm up and he was back on at the finish to offer an appreciative wave to the crowd. Afterwards he mulled: "When you come to a new home for the first time, 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."

©AFP/Getty Images

No magic wand
Klopp's arrival has generated understandable excitement in the red half of Merseyside but he will need time to rebuild the confidence in the Liverpool ranks. As well as Rubin's ten men defended, there was at times a lack of conviction in the Reds' attacking efforts as befits a team with one win in their last 11 outings.

Emre Can, moved into midfield by his compatriot, got the first goal of the new era, while Adam Lallana worked as hard as anyone to make things happen in the final third, teeing up Christian Benteke for the chance the substitute struck against a post.

"We had our moments, we hit the post with Christian, we had some other moments, good chances, but in the end no goal," said Klopp. "I would say 98% OK, not perfect – the last 2% we missed."

Striker light
Divock Origi is a young forward with undoubted potential but the 20-year-old struggled to impose himself on the Rubin defence. Klopp was unfortunate to lose Danny Ings to a knee ligament injury in his first training session with the German, and is still waiting for Daniel Sturridge to return from his latest spell on the sidelines, but at least he was able to introduce Benteke for the last half-hour.

©AFP/Getty Images

The latter brought a presence that Origi lacked and had opportunities to win the contest which he might have taken had he not missed the last month of action.

Anfield on song
In his programme notes, Klopp had the following message for Liverpool's supporters: "I ask you that you believe in this team and believe that together we can achieve great things."

That togetherness was there from start to finish, with Anfield right behind the charismatic German, from the playing of the Scorpions' Winds of Change as the ground began to fill up to the moment in added time when the Kop ignored the frustrating outcome and delivered a supportive chorus of You'll Never Walk Alone. For the tall figure on the touchline in his dark club suit, it had been "a warm welcome", if not quite the dream start.