The Reds seemed to be on their way to victory, having recovered from an early Simon Mignolet error to lead their Bulgarian opponents 2-1 heading into the final five minutes.
However, they fell to their fifth straight game without a victory when central defender Georgi Terziev out jumped everyone in the area to clinch a share of the spoils. Despite the late disappointment, Real Madrid’s victory over Basel ensures that qualification for the knockout stages of the tournament remains in the Reds’ hands - with a victory by any score over the Swiss side needed to progress through the group stages.
The performance was well-received by head coach Brendan Rodgers, who believed that the Merseyside club deserved more out of the game, and midfielder Joe Allen - who completed the full 90 minutes Bulgaria - felt much the same way. Speaking after the game, the former Swansea man commented on the positives seen throughout the Champions League fixture, suggesting that improvements were remarkably visible from the run of four consecutive defeats suffered prior to the tie.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Welsh international Allen said: “You want to win games of course. But the most important thing is that we're still alive in the competition. It's good for it to be in our hands and for us [to be] in the position we are at the moment.
“There were improvements all round. I think the commitment was there for everyone to see. I think we had more composure at times than we have had recently, so there were positive things.”
Despite all the praise for the effort and commitment shown by his teammates, Liverpool were still undone in two areas the club have struggled in this season. Goalkeeping errors and set-pieces have cost Rodgers’ side many points, and Allen admitted his disappointment with the manner of the goals conceded, promising that things will be worked on in training to prevent such a situation reoccurring.
“But to concede the goal like that from a set-piece is disappointing. We'll work on it to make sure that we're better next time.”
Liverpool fans will be hoping their team have overcome their set-pice problems by Saturday, with perennial long-ball merchants Stoke City heading to Anfield in the Premier League.