It was another impressive night’s work for Daniel Sturridge against Manchester United.
There was plenty for Liverpool to celebrate in their 4-1 victory in Michigan and Sturridge’s performance was one of them with the Englishman continuing his rich vein of form in pre-season.
Sturridge scored what later proved the deciding goal of the game, delivering a neat finish past Lee Grant after some brilliant work from Xherdan Shaqiri in the penalty area.
And his good work wasn’t missed by Jurgen Klopp who highlighted his importance after the game, noting: “You can see he’s enjoying himself in this moment.
“The most important thing is that Daniel stays fit. He only played half an hour today because it’s been an intense week and I didn’t want to take any risks with him.
STURRIDGE IMPRESSED VS MAN UTD
“Usually we could say 60 minutes for him would have been okay, but he was so good in the last few weeks for us – so no risk.
“He was obviously fresh when he came in and enjoyed the game. Together with (Xherdan) Shaqiri, he enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully he will be very important.”
Very positive indeed but Sturridge could actually have doubled his tally against United.
STURRIDGE EXPLAINS OJO PENALTY
He revealed after the game after Klopp wanted him to take Liverpool’s second penalty of the match, yet it was 21-year-old Sheyi Ojo who actually stepped up and scored.
Sturridge explained in his post-match interview why he made this decision and, frankly, it’s class.
The 28-year-old recalled: “You know what it was? I looked over and the gaffer was like ‘go ahead.’
“And I was thinking, for Sheyi it’s good for his confidence. It’s a big stage for younger players.
“I’ve played in big arenas before, not to be cocky or anything, but I think it’s good for these younger players to get the confidence.
“And he wanted to take it, he was confident. So, if you show the confidence and want to step up, then I’m not going to stand in your way, I’m not greedy for goals.”
I’ve got everything crossed that this man is successful this season, he deserves it pic.twitter.com/L5O7MrnTK2
— LEROY (@LEROYNWA) July 28, 2018
Brilliant stuff from Sturridge.
And his faith in Ojo was quickly rewarded when he calmly slotted the ball past Grant and effectively put the game to bed at 3-1.
One of the biggest positives of pre-season is seeing younger players get opportunities in the first-team and it’s brilliant to see senior squad members like Sturridge taking this into account.
Given the doubt surrounding his Liverpool future, he could have easily insisted on taking the penalty to make his pre-season form stand out even more.
In the end, though, he chose the completely selfless reason and all to help the confidence of a player looking to make the cut at Liverpool.
Ojo will be very grateful and hopefully he can look back on it as a crucial moment in his career one day.