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Klopp: Sturridge asked to play 90 minutes against Swansea

The 26-year-old striker wanted to complete the whole Premier League game at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Sturridge was left out of Liverpool's Europa League clash with Villarreal on Thursday.
Sturridge was left out of Liverpool's Europa League clash with Villarreal on Thursday.

JURGEN KLOPP REVEALED it was Daniel Sturridge’s decision to play the entirety of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at Swansea City, and he defended the striker for trudging straight down the tunnel after the final whistle.

The English international was an unused substitute in the 1-0 loss to Villarreal in the first-leg of the Europa League semi-final on Thursday night, but was fielded from the off at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

However, Sturridge endured a miserable time, feeding off scraps and switching off in key defensive moments as the Reds were comfortably beaten.

Klopp withdrew Philippe Coutinho at half-time with a view to the reverse fixture with the Liga side at Anfield, and he was asked whether Sturridge completing the game meant the 26-year-old would be overlooked for the all-or-nothing encounter.

But Klopp explained: “I spoke to him at half-time. We’d already made two changes, so if he felt something he should give me a sign but he said ‘no, I want to play the 90 minutes.’

It’s absolutely no problem. He didn’t play on Thursday, so now we have four or five days until Thursday again, so everything is good.”

The German was also quizzed about the forward heading straight down the tunnel after the game, adding: “Sorry if you think we ignored the fans, that is not what we wanted, but I went in too immediately.

“Hopefully our fans know how close we are to them and after a game like this, you want to leave, you want to rest, you want to recover, and if someone forgot to say thank you to the fans then it is my fault. Nobody else’s.

If you want to find a story around this 3-1 defeat, sure, you don’t need my say.”

Sturridge did clap the away end, but did not shake hands with Swansea’s players as he exited the pitch annoyed after what was a sorry performance from Liverpool.

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