Liverpool great Phil Thompson has said that striker Daniel Sturridge struggled to find space in the goalless draw against Manchester United on Monday night.
The England international was named in the starting XI by manager Jurgen Klopp, but he failed to make an impact in the game and was eventually substituted in the 60th minute
Thompson believes United’s defensive approach on the night forced the downfall of Sturridge.
“I thought it was extremely difficult for him to function. I thought he was smothered,” the Sky Sports pundit said.
“In a 4-2-3-1, he was isolated up front and it was very difficult to get into the game, with Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly doing a very good number on him.
“It was without a doubt more due to the system than the player. With United defending so deep made it difficult to get into the game.
“There was nowhere for Daniel to run when they defended so deep. I think the compliment was that Jurgen Klopp didn’t just change him for Divock Origi, but Roberto Firmino did better in terms of finding the spaces.
“He’ll be disappointed because he was taken off so early but it did change things when Lallana came on. I must admit I did not think the first substitution should have been Sturridge coming off and it could have been Emre Can for Lallana, but I suppose it’s a toss up between them.”