Jurgen Klopp has defended Daniel Sturridge after the striker appeared not to acknowledge Liverpool fans after their 3-1 defeat to Swansea.
Sturridge played the full 90 minutes in Wales but struggled in front of an inexperienced Reds midfield, but the England international managed four attempts on goal on Sunday afternoon.
The 26-year-old failed to score however, and was visibly frustrated as he headed straight for the tunnel at full-time.
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Many have claimed that Sturridge did not acknowledge Liverpool fans as he left the field, but Klopp defended his striker.
“Sorry if you thought we ignored the fans, but I went too,” Klopp said. “If somebody forgot to say sorry to the fans, then that’s my fault.”
Sturridge did not feature at all in the Europa League semi-final first leg against Villarreal, and after Christian Benteke scored from the bench against Swansea, Sturridge could again find himself unused in the second leg on Thursday.
“I spoke to him at half-time, he said ‘I want to play the 90 minutes’. We have four days until Thursday. It’s good,” Klopp said.
To clarify, Sturridge did wave to the fans but he was also visibly frustrated.
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Klopp then discussed the first Premier League start of Pedro Chirivella, who was substituted at half-time after struggling, and the future of Joe Allen, who was not in the Reds’ matchday squad.
“Today was not a game for [Pedro]. It’s only one game in his long, long football career,” Klopp said. “He’s a wonderful player, a passing player, a big, big talent, but today he forgot to orientate himself.”
On Allen, who is out of contract next summer, Klopp added: “We will talk about Joe Allen’s future 100%, but not at the presser in Swansea. I spoke to him yesterday, everything’s fine.”