The Scottish tactician used four of his summer signings – Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Jose Enrique – and things began well when Luis Suarez was brought down in the area by Kieran Richardson in the fifth minute.
The Uruguayan’s spot kick, however, was put over the crossbar in what was a huge letoff for the visiting Black Cats but the Reds managed to hit the front after 11 minutes when Suarez headed home Adam’s free-kick.
After a poor beginning, Steve Bruce’s men kicked into gear and got a leveler in the 57th minute when Ahmed Al Muhammadi's cross from the right was met by a brilliant Sebastian Larsson sideways scissor kick to give Sunderland a share of the points on day one of the 2011/12 season.
Liverpool: 1 (Luis Suarez 12’)
Sunderland: 1 (Sebastian Larsson 57’)
Yellow cards: LIV - Jamie Carragher 45’, Jordan Henderson 60’, Charlie Adam 66’, Dirk Kuyt 72’
SUN - Kieran Richardson 6’, Lee Cattermole 27’, Phil Bardsley 45’, Sebastian Larsson 78’