Liverpool’s clash with PSG on Tuesday evening was a thoroughly enthralling encounter and another encouraging sign for the club as they bid to finally turn many seasons of promise into silverware.
Indeed, Jurgen Klopp has been threatening to lead his side to glory since he arrived at Anfield in 2015, but a trophy continues to elude him. Liverpool’s road to the Champions League final last season – a run which included a 5-1 victory over centurions Manchester City – served to illuminate their enormous credentials, and plenty of fans and pundits alike are tipping them to clinch at least 1 trophy this season.
Squad depth is a factor which can determine a side’s ambitions of lifting silverware and Liverpool are no exception to that rule. Whilst Roberto Firmino almost single-handedly spearheaded the attack last season, Daniel Sturridge spent the majority of his time sidelined through injury, leaving Dominic Solanke as the only alternative at centre-forward.
Even a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion turned sour after Sturridge typically picked up an injury shortly after arriving at the Hawthorns, but he is fully fit once again and looking to make an impact on Merseyside.
Despite the fact he’d never started a Champions League fixture in the entirety of his Liverpool career, Klopp deployed Sturridge at centre-forward from the outset on Tuesday night as Roberto Firmino had not fully recovered from an eye injury to make the starting eleven.
And despite playing just 20 minutes of football so far this season, Sturridge took full advantage of his opportunity to shine by bagging the opening goal with a well taken header after 30 minutes.
Not only did Sturridge bag himself his 2nd goal of the season on his first Champions League start for Liverpool, he showed some nice touches in and around the penalty area and generally played well against top quality opposition.
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s fixture talkSPORT host Tony Cascarino discussed Mo Salah’s dip in form in recent months and also the quality of Sturridge’s performance at Anfield.
Cascarino said of Sturridge: “He is a huge talent, he can get goals, he can do things, he has a great ability to get in-between defenders and get the type of header he did last night. He can add something to Liverpool this year.”
On the evidence of his performance against Les Parisiens it’s fair to say that Sturridge deserves the praise which has been forthcoming from Cascarino, but with Firmino in the side there’s no doubt that the England international faces a huge challenge in trying to become a regular for Liverpool this season.
The instinct Sturridge demonstrated to ghost into space in the penalty area and notch Liverpool’s opener was a thoroughly pleasing sign for the future, and it’s now down to him to continue resurrecting his career with more performances which match the level he showed on Tuesday.
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