Sturridge in best shape I´ve seen – Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Daniel Sturridge is in the “best shape” he has seen as he praised the forward’s performance against Paris Saint-Germain.
Sturridge made his first start of the season and opened the scoring in his side’s thrilling 3-2 win in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The forward was later replaced by Roberto Firmino, who started on the bench due to an eye injury but came on to score a fine winner in the 91st minute at Anfield.
Klopp said he had never seen Sturridge, who has endured multiple injury worries throughout his career, in better condition.
“Great performance. Great performance of Daniel,” he told a news conference.
“The three in midfield did an outstanding job, but they only can do it when the two wingers in how we play and the number nine are helping in all these situations to keep the formation compact. It was fantastic.
“I said to Daniel before the game he is in the best shape since I’ve known him, physically, and now he had to use it – and that’s what he did. A super game, a super goal.
“And we then had the opportunity to bring on Bobby Firmino. There was no chance yesterday, absolutely no chance today before [training] and then this morning he came in said, ‘I am fine, I can open the eye again’ so it’s good, it helps. It was good.”
Firmino suffered his eye injury during Liverpool’s win over Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday, giving Sturridge his chance.
Klopp said he needed to have faith in his squad, but the German enjoyed having the Brazil international as an option off the bench.
“How I said, the day before yesterday it was no chance, yesterday it didn’t look really well and we had only one session, which we used, and that was this morning,” he said.
“Bobby tested a little bit and then he went in and you think it’s the moment when you have to show faith in the squad. Yes, when you have Bobby Firmino available, you actually always think, ‘Come on, bring him’, but it was nice to see how Daniel performed tonight and he paid 100 per cent back. That’s so cool for him, for us, such a big, important sign.
“And how I said, bringing Bobby in after 70 minutes is a nice tool, to be honest, I really like that. So it was good.”