Kenny Dalglish gave Jose Enrique, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson their Liverpool debuts against Sunderland and it was all going smoothly by half-time. After blazing a penalty over the bar, Luis Suarez had given the Reds the lead although their opponents were much improved in the second half.
Sebastian Larsson’s spectacular effort earned the Black Cats a draw and Dalglish accepted that this was the right result, although the Scot was confused why Kieran Richardson wasn’t shown an early red card after bringing down Suarez for the penalty.
He said: “Over the game, for the effort and commitment they put in, I think a draw is probably about right.
“We had a few more chances, we were a bit unlucky having Andy Carroll’s goal knocked off, which would have put us 2-0 up, but I think for their work and effort and how difficult they made it for us, they deserved a point”.
On the penalty, Dalglish said: “You don’t want to see people sent off, but I don’t know what the rule book says. Was it a clear cut goal scoring opportunity, with Luis Suarez one-on-one with the goalkeeper – I don’t see it any clearer than that”.