Daniel Sturridge in best shape since I came to Liverpool, says Jurgen Klopp
Last Updated: 19/09/18 5:13am
Jurgen Klopp said Daniel Sturridge is in the "best shape" he has been in over the last three years after he scored in Liverpool's Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.
With Roberto Firmino on the bench due to an eye injury, Sturridge started in the Champions League for the first time since March 2012.
He marked the occasion with a goal and a strong all-round display as the Reds triumphed 3-2 in their Group C opener at Anfield.
"It was a great performance by Daniel," said Klopp afterwards. "The three in midfield did an outstanding job but they can only do it when the two wingers 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, you are in the best shape since I have known you, physically wise, so now you have to use that. That's what he did. Super game, super goal."
He later added: "When you have Bobby Firmino available, it's always like, 'come on', but it was nice to see Daniel's performance. He 100 per cent paid us back. It's so cool for us and for him."
Firmino was a doubt for the game after suffering an eye injury against Tottenham on Saturday.
However, he was introduced as a late substitute and scored the winner in injury-time after Kylian Mbappe had levelled at 2-2 in the 83rd minute.
Speaking about Firmino, Klopp said: "There was no chance yesterday, absolutely no chance the day before, and this morning he came in and said, 'I'm fine, I can open the eye again'. So, good, that helps.
Reflecting on the win, Klopp added: "It was good, really good. In all departments, pretty much. It's so difficult to defend them but we did.
"Good organisation, big heart, is always a good combination for defending. All 11 players were involved in that. It was a good performance against an outstandingly good opponent, so it was necessary that we played good.
"The atmosphere was fantastic. It's so special to do these things in that stadium. So it was nice. Great performance."