Jamie Carragher and everyone else left baffled by Klopp's treatment of Daniel Sturridge
He has gotten almost everything right since taking over from Brendan Rodgers last October but after being rocked across the jaw with a sickening sucker punch last night, ex-Liverpool players and fans questioned one particular decision made by Jurgen Klopp.
Despite being in scintillating form, Klopp opted to leave Daniel Sturridge on the bench during Liverpool's 1-0 loss to Villarreal in the Europa League semi-final first leg last night, instead starting with a front three of Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.
And although the German manager made two attacking substitutions in search of an opening goal, it was Jordan Ibe and Christian Benteke who were called upon as Sturridge, who has scored three goals in his last three games, was allowed remain on the bench.
Liverpool bombarded the Villarreal goal but besides one shot against the post from Firmino, they couldn't create a whole lot of clear chances. The decision to leave Sturridge on the bench looked even more misguided after the Spaniards nicked a last-gasp goal when Denis Suarez teed up Adrian Lopez with a gorgeous assist to tap home an easy winner.
While Liverpool are still very much alive in the tie with the Anfield leg to come - you only need to look at the return Dortmund leg in the quarter-final to know what could happen - the failure to score an away goal could haunt them, and Sturridge undoubtedly could have helped in that regard.
Obviously, the England international has a sizeable injury record but Klopp gave no indication that the striker was carrying a knock.
Throughout the game and afterwards, a string of pundits, ex-players, journalists and fans all tried to understand how one of the in-form strikers of the last few weeks didn't feature at all on what was Liverpool's biggest game of the season.
How long before people stop saying "This front 3 played away at City" Sturridge got to come into the equation.— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 28, 2016
Decent 1st half,defended well toure in particular.to score I think we need Sturridge on!when balls go in their box,not enough numbers in it!— John Aldridge (@Realaldo474) April 28, 2016
Sturridge has spent all of half-time warming up on the pitch. Won't be long before he comes on #LFC— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) April 28, 2016
BT reporting that Sturridge's family travelled to watch him play tonight, also he didn't do the extra running with the unused subs after.— Dave O’Connell (@DaveOCKOP) April 28, 2016
Disappointed to not have seen Sturridge tonight. We're always liable to concede so an away goal was kinda crucial.— Jurgen Klopp (@ItsJurgenKlopp) April 28, 2016
Can't see Sturridge at #LFC next season on this basis— Frank Fitzgibbon (@FrankSunTimes) April 28, 2016
When Sturridge saw Benteke going on ahead of him pic.twitter.com/kmAseLwDwB— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) April 28, 2016
Considering his blistering form with 3 goals in 3, it was a surprise that Sturridge remained rooted to the bench throughout. (James Pearce)— Dave O’Connell (@DaveOCKOP) April 28, 2016
Poor defending late on by #lfc. Moreno naive. Ruined decent performance. Sturridge has to start next week.— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) April 28, 2016