Bournemouth 1, Liverpool 2
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned Daniel Sturridge that he still faces a fight for his place despite the England striker scoring one and making another at Bournemouth.
Sturridge’s back-heeled shot forced Artur Boruc to parry into the path of Roberto Firmino for the opener, before he notched the second with a header from Jordon Ibe’s free-kick.
Divock Origi was preferred to Sturridge for Thursday’s dramatic Europa League win over Borussia Dortmund, and Klopp insists that none of his players should expect to be certain starters.
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“Nobody is undroppable. I never look at any player and think, ‘I can’t leave him out’,” said the German, whose side are eighth.
“As a manager, I decide if I play with one, two, three or four strikers. He really is in really good shape. Mental-wise and physical-wise it’s really good, and for us so important, because, for example, Roberto Firmino now has a problem. He’s a brilliant player, [but] this is a game with 11 players.”
Sturridge’s display was not just a reminder to Klopp but also to Roy Hodgson, as the England head coach mulls an array of striking options for this summer’s European Championship.
Yet he might have left the south coast with a hat-trick: the 26-year-old saw a chip glance a post and bounce clear, while he later hit the woodwork again with another shot.
Bournemouth, who remain 13th, pulled one back in the dying seconds when striker Josh King beat debutant goalkeeper Danny Ward – one of 10 Reds changes – with a powerful low shot from the edge of the penalty area.