Brendan Rodgers believes the personnel and structure deployed by Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday night is the correct template to secure improved results and performances.

The Reds were minutes away from registering a victory over Ludogorets Razgrad in Sofia, with Rickie Lambert and Jordan Henderson on target to turn around a shock opener by Dani Abalo for the home side.

But Georgi Terziev rose highest when a corner by the Bulgarian champions was flicked on to the back post in the closing stages, sending a header beyond the reach of Simon Mignolet to level the scoreline at 2-2.

Though the immediate feeling among the travelling party was one of frustration, a point was enough to leave Liverpool in control of their own destiny in Group B - with a win over FC Basel on December 9 required for qualification.

Rodgers also observed in a team that showed three changes from the side that started the preceding defeat by Crystal Palace a commitment and work ethic that he wants to see more of in a hectic period of fixtures ahead.

That started from the front with Lambert, who scored for the second successive game - creating the strike himself through sheer perseverance - and provided a focal figure for pressing and forcing the issue at the Vasil Levski Stadium.

"I'm so pleased for Rickie and what he has shown in the last two games, because he has been so patient and waited for his chance," the manager reflected after the final whistle had set up a grandstand finale in the section.

"He got his goal and that's two in two, so his confidence is getting better. Since he got his goal at the weekend he's been a different person around the training ground - just in his step, his shoulders are wider and his chest is out. It makes a difference.

"He contributed so much effort and desire to us getting a result and that is what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a team with the mentality to work their socks off. He ran himself into the ground.

"Maybe at the times when you are doing well, you can put all your technical players in, and that can compensate for the lack of physicality. But whenever confidence is low, it's very important to have a structure where you can work and press. We have those players, and they can play as well of course.

"We first and foremost have to be competitive, and we haven't been competitive enough. For whatever reason - injuries, transition, whatever - we haven't been competitive enough, but now I think we have shown we are out to compete."

Alongside the Liverpool No.9 was Raheem Sterling, offering a relentless problem to the Ludogorets backline with a performance that featured everything so thrilling about the 19-year-old.

He attacked at every opportunity with his pace and direct dribbling, and teed up Henderson for the Reds' second goal with a cross that eliminated the hosts' defence and goalkeeper to allow his teammate to convert.

Rodgers said: "I asked him to start showing the pace and skill he has - that quality he possesses. He was up against an excellent player that has showed up very well in this competition, but Raheem did really well himself. He showed his desire and quality.

"I think that was more like the team we had - the structure of the team worked well. It was never going to be a night solely on football. We had to go to a difficult place and get a result in the Champions League, and we did that with character."

Lucas Leiva had been reintroduced to Rodgers' XI, operating at the base of the side's midfield as captain Steven Gerrard moved further forward - and the boss was buoyed by the Brazilian's efforts.

"He will be in the plans [for Stoke City]," said the Northern Irishman. "Players like Lucas have got that natural competitiveness to help the team, and whenever he's been asked to help the team he's done really well."