Red Bull Salzburg opened up their second consecutive campaign in the UEFA Champions League with a disappointing 2-2 draw to Lokomotiv Moscow. The reigning Austrian Bundesliga champs were stunned early by the opposition's composure and couldn't remain focused as they surrendered a late lead.
"I thought we were better and deserved to win," said manager Jesse Marsch. "It probably wasn't our best performance. I thought that we were good though, and we had lots of chances when we were 2-1 up. It wasn't enough though in the end."
Salzburg fell behind in the 13th minute when veteran forward Eder headed an effort into the back of the net. The goal came against the run of play as Salzburg had been pressuring the Moscow defense. The attempts at net were few to that point but a goal felt as if it was approaching. It came right before halftime when Dominik Szoboszlai blasted an effort from outside the box to equalize the scoreline.
Early in the second half Salzburg took the lead when veteran Zlatko Junuzovic similarly took a shot from outside of the box that deflected into the net. The 2-1 lead seemed as if it would last but a late defensive mistake saw Moscow tie the game in the 75th minute. Salzburg continued to push but couldn't find the game-winner in front of their home fans.
"They played really clever football," said Junuzovic. "The equalizer really annoyed me. It was a cheap goal to give away. A draw is probably all we deserved, all things considered. We go on though. Everything is still possible."
The road out of the group stage gets harder from here as Salzburg will travel to Madrid next week to play Atletico Madrid and then return home to play the current Champions League winners Bayern Munich on November 3. Dropping points to Moscow may come back to haunt Salzburg but they have shown an ability to over perform against major opposition. Points against their next two opponents should not be seen as a surprise.