Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has opened up about the difficulties of working with striker Daniel Sturridge this season as his injury troubles continue.
The Reds have a full treatment room at the moment with Sadio Mane limping out of the Merseyside derby with a knee injury which could keep him out for the rest of the season.
Adam Lallana is already out, as is captain Jordan Henderson, leaving Klopp with a lack of options further up the field as Sturridge’s injury problems continue to disrupt his career.
Liverpool 3 Everton 1 player ratings
Liverpool 3 Everton 1 player ratings
1/22 Simon Mignolet – 6 out of 10
Made a handful of important saves – only beaten by Pennington’s close range strike.
2/22 Nathaniel Clyne – 5 out of 10
Was pulled out of position at times and made a habit of playing very narrow.
3/22 Joel Matip – 6 out of 10
His work rate was relentless and he kept Lukaku out of the game.
4/22 Dejan Lovren – 7 out of 10
Committed to every challenge and loose ball – courageous defending throughout.
5/22 James Milner – 6 out of 10
It was a classic Milner display – passed well, held his shape and worked hard.
6/22 Emre Can – 4 out of 10
Ruthlessly crashed into challenges, tackled half-heartedly and lost possession continuously.
7/22 Lucas – 6 out of 10
Read the game very well – dropped deep and opened up space in the midfield.
8/22 Georgino Wijnaldum – 5 out of 10
Drifted in and out of the game at times, but in possession he showed impressive vision and ability.
9/22 Sadio Mane – 7 out of 10
His opening goal was an example of his endless individual ability. Subbed off due to ankle injury.
10/22 Roberto Firmino – 6 out of 10
Worked hard to win possession, but his final product was sloppy at times.
11/22 Philippe Coutinho – 8 out of 10
Was Liverpool’s best player today – he was energetic, determined and his goal capped off a sublime performance.
12/22 Joel Robles – 4 out of 10
Was a victim of Liverpool’s sublime strike force but seemed out of position for all three of the home side's goals.
13/22 Matthew Pennington – 6 out of 10
Unexpectedly scored the equaliser, but then he was beaten by Coutinho for Liverpool’s second.
14/22 Ashley Williams – 6 out of 10
Tackled relentlessly and made countless clearances. However, some of his tackles looked dangerous.
15/22 Phil Jagielka – 7 out of 10
He cleared shots off the line, leaped in front of shots and saved the Everton side on numerous occasions.
16/22 Mason Holgate – 5 out of 10
Showed glimpses of brilliance going forward, but his countless deliveries into the box were over hit and out of control.
17/22 Tom Davies – 6 out of 10
Oozed with confidence and once again proved his prospects for the future. Still has plenty to learn, though.
18/22 Idrissa Gueye – 6 out of 10
Was a key element to Everton going forward, but he did drift out of position at times.
19/22 Leighton Baines – 5 out of 10
Played very deep, which resulted in a lack of width and menace for The Toffees on the front foot.
20/22 Ross Barkley – 6 out of 10
Should have been red carded just before the interval, but his performance improved sufficiently as the game progressed.
21/22 Romelu Lukaku – 4 out of 10
Showed no sign of being the Premier League’s scorer and caused few problems for the Liverpool defence.
22/22 Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 5 out of 10
Lacked service from the midfield, but the striker was invisible at times.
Sturridge has only made 14 appearances for Liverpool in the Premier League this season and has not featured at all since the 2-0 defeat to Hull on February 4th, due to illness and injuries.
That leaves Divock Origi as the man likely to lead the line against Bournemouth on Wednesday and Klopp bemoaned the lack of time he has had Sturridge available to him in the second half of the season.
“Unfortunately, Daniel has been out for 4 or 5 weeks,” said Klopp. “Managing players is always a challenge. My job is difficult. I can't say all the time what players want to hear.
“But it's not more of a challenge with Daniel than with other players. Unfortunately we couldn't use him in this second part of the season as much as we needed.
“But now he's back and everything is good for me. He will be very important.
However, after spending so long out injured, while Sturridge could make the matchday squad to face Bournemouth at Anfield, his match fitness is so poor that he is highly unlikely to start – despite Klopp insisting he looked sharp in training.
“I saw his rehab training and he looked really fresh and sharp.
“On Monday he was team training but it was second day recovery for all the boys and he was part of that.
“He looked good. He's very optimistic about the situation and we will see.
“It's good news for us, it's not just bad news with Sadio being out.”
Meanwhile, Klopp also gave updates on Emre Can, who he said had bruises all over his body meaning he was unable to train on Monday, and Joel Matip, who should be fit for Wednesday night.
“Emre has a full body bruise,” he said. “Everywhere. We left him out yesterday [Monday] because he had back pain, knee pain.
“Nothing serious, thank God, and hopefully he can train today [Tuesday], but really he has knocks everywhere. I hope he will be fit.
“Joel had a little bit of a back problem or two yesterday. He saw the doc before training, so we will see. He should be.”Reuse content