Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praised Daniel Sturridge for overcoming a build-up hampered by injury to play a key role as the Reds beat Everton 1-0 in the Premier League on Monday.
“When you have Daniel on the bench you are always thinking about when is the right time to bring him on,” Klopp said. “It is an unusual situation, but at the same time a good option when you can bring on his fresh legs when the game is so tight. He helped us a lot tonight in a difficult game.”
A Sturridge strike rebounded off a defender and a post to tee up Sadio Mane for a late winner in the 1-0 result.
The difference! ? pic.twitter.com/c6CSsQJhrm
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 20, 2016
Klopp said it was difficult to know when to send Sturridge on, as the game was so intense and the player only had a few training sessions under his belt after a calf injury sidelined him for the past five outings.
Klopp said it was good to emerge unscathed from the derby after Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was felled by a Ross Barkley tackle that saw Henderson clutching his ankle.
“You all saw it, I don’t have to say anything much. I thought Ross was lucky,” Klopp said after Barkley was given a yellow card following the incident.
Liverpool are second in the Premier League table, six points behind leaders Chelsea, while Everton are in ninth.
Liverpool's next game is against Stoke City on Wednesday next week.