Jürgen Klopp admitted Adam Lallana’s injury looked “serious” after the Liverpool and England football midfielder pulled up holding his hamstring only a few minutes after coming on as a substitute during the Reds’ 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
Lallana missed the opening months of the season with a hamstring injury, and pulled up here in the 64th minute at Selhurst Park after stretching for the ball. Liverpool went on to claim all three points and tighten their grip on the Premier League’s top four ahead of the Champions League quarter-final with Manchester City, but Lallana now seems certain to miss the two-legged tie.
“It looked absolutely bad,” said Klopp. “It looked really serious, like something with the muscle. A big big blow for us today. But it’s too early (to gauge Lallana’s World Cup hopes). We hope it won’t be that serious. That’s not for now to decide that. It’s just not good.”
Lallana would be expected to play a key role for Gareth Southgate’s England side in the summer’s World Cup in Russia, should he be a fit, but now faces a battle to recover in time to gain much-needed game time ahead of the tournament.
“He is our boy, our friend, our mate, he is having a difficult season already,” added Klopp. ”Maybe the achievement of the season is that the team has been doing everything they’ve done without Adam Lallana.”
Despite the disappointment of losing Lallana, Liverpool were buoyed by their comeback. Mohamed Salah scored the winning goal in south London, firing in from close range with less than 10 minutes to play, and his manager said that this was the kind of quiet performance which showed he was a “proper striker”.
“If you have to score only on a perfect day you cannot score 29 goals [Salah’s season tally],” said Klopp.
Crystal Palace fans were frustrated that Salah’s team-mate Sadio Mane was not sent off during the second half, when he deliberately handled the ball while already on a yellow card, but Roy Hodgson did not want to use that as an excuse for giving up a one-goal lead.
“I don’t really like spending my time discussing refereeing decisions,” Hodgson said. “The referee didn’t give the second yellow card and that didn’t affect my concentration. There is no guarantee that playing against 10 men will make life easier for you anyway but that will be one for the referee to explain his decision.
“It’s been very disappointing these recent weeks to see the games we’ve deserved something and come away with no points. The praise for our performance doesn’t give you the points that you need. What gives me some hope and some heart is that the performances recently have been good. I can only hope that we’ll start scoring the goals.”
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