Kloppmania finally hit Anfield with the new manager of Liverpool taking his team out for the first time in front of the Liverpool faithful. Jurgen Klopp’s team though couldn’t get the most out of the home support. Liverpool, in fact, fell behind to a Marko Devic goal in the first half but the tie did swing in their balance a little bit when the Rubin Kazan captain, Oleg Kuzmin was sent off in the first half for two bookable offences. Emre Can did restore parity and for all the huffing and puffing that Liverpool did they could not break down a spirited and well-drilled Rubin Kazan team. A third 1-1 draw in the Europa League leaves Liverpool with a hard task of qualifying for the next round. Liverpool next prepare to take on Southampton at Anfield as we look at the five talking points from the game.
Coutinho’s form is a worry for all
After being dropped by the Brazil team to face Argentina, it might have served as a warning to Coutinho that he needs to step up and perform regularly for the Reds. What we saw against Kazan hardly provides any insight that Coutinho has heeded the warning, there were little touches and flicks which were pleasing on the eye but with no end result. Liverpool should expect more from the mercurial Brazilian and his inconsistency doesn’t allow him to fall into the bracket of ‘World Class’ players.
Lallana is the star from an average team display
Even without the red card inflicted on Rubin’s captain, Oleg Kuzmin, Liverpool should have dominated the game; however it was the Russian outfit who scored first. While many would have expected Coutinho or Milner even to do well, it was Adam Lallana who was the star of the show. He constantly worked to get into good spaces and was the actual bright spot for the Liverpool team. Lallana was one player that many believed would not fit the Klopp system due to a lot of running involved, but the Englishman is showing that he is ready to work on his game and work with this system as well.
Rubin’s plan works out
Not many would have given Rubin a chance to get anything out of the game against Liverpool and they came with a game plan to hit Liverpool on the counter and frustrate their opponents. It looked even better for the team from Russia when they took the lead but were pegged back when their captain was sent off. Liverpool huffed and puffed, but the 10-men of Rubin held on for a very creditable point. They were tough to break while Liverpool did little to prove a gap in talent existed between the two teams.
Can and Lucas were rock solid
Liverpool started with a midfield of Emre Can and Joe Allen while the duo fared decently against Kazan it was the second half pairing of Can and Lucas Leiva which worked a treat for the Reds. Can did get on the score sheet to draw Liverpool level but his hustle and tackling ability along with Lucas is probably the one major positive Jurgen Klopp can take from this game. Liverpool might not have looked the best in attack but with Lucas and Can playing in midfield, they shouldn’t have to worry about other teams posing a threat for them in midfield.
The lack of attacking options is a big problem
With Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge out, the onus of the attack fell on the young shoulders of Divock Origi. The Belgian forward started his second game in a row but couldn’t do much for the Reds. He was replaced by Christian Benteke and then they started to look much better. The other Belgian striker came on in the second half and provided more impetus to the Liverpool attack, and even hit the post. Klopp has a lot of work on his hands, Liverpool aren’t playing great football, but no one expected him to turn things around in a couple of weeks. He needs to fix the attack while many expected that he would only have to work on the defence.