It was supposed to be the night when the noise cascaded from the Kop as if a biblical storm had penetrated the north face of the Eiger; the night, indeed, when Jürgen Klopp was offered before Anfield as Liverpool’s manager, with a crushing victory naturally following.
John W Henry, Liverpool’s primary owner, was in attendance, along with the chairman, Tom Werner. The stadium’s public address system played a mix of love songs and thrash metal, the latter being the type Klopp would really appreciate. There was even a new scoreboard in the corner of the Centenary Stand, perhaps marking the new era in some way.
And then the football started and with that the truth was exposed. Liverpool could not beat the 12th best side out of 16 in the Russian league, one that was reduced to 10 men for 55 minutes of the contest. It indicates there is so much work for Klopp to do.
Almost a year on from the night when his predecessor Brendan Rodgers fielded a weakened team in the Santiago Bernabeu for a Champions League match, losing narrowly to Real Madrid, Klopp went all out for victory here, leaving only Lucas Leiva out from the side that drew at Tottenham at the weekend.
Klopp had warned the crowd that they should not expect Liverpool to be 4-0 up after three minutes and reasoned that they should not be disappointed if they weren’t.
Falling behind was certainly not on the agenda, though, and when it happened, it was largely because of Martin Skrtel, who was too impulsive when meeting a tackle near halfway, surrendering a free-kick.
He then misjudged the flight of a cross from the right-back Oleg Kuzmin, affording Marko Devic the space to release a beautifully struck finish using the outside of his right foot.
Klopp has emphasised frequently since becoming Liverpool’s manager that he will require some luck if success is to be realised.
Kuzmin was soon correctly sent off for two bookable offences but the timing of his red card was fortunate, in that Kazan did not have time to organise properly from the corresponding free-kick, with Emre Can ramming in the equaliser from Divock Origi’s headed knock-down.
Klopp celebrated the goal by turning to those behind him in the Main Stand, baring his teeth. Further releases of such emotion will have to wait for another occasion.
Man of the match Karadeniz (Rubin Kazan).
Match rating 5/10.
Referee R Schörgenhofer (Austria).
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies