Sturridge proving his worth to Klopp


Sturridge's injury problems have been such that the striker was starting a fourth successive Premier League game for the first time in two years. His subsequent contribution in a Liverpool side given a major overhaul by Jurgen Klopp suggested the forward may be finally closing in on a return to full fitness after his future at Anfield had been called into question.

As well as providing the piece of improvisation that set up Firmino for the opening goal, Sturridge finished cleanly for the second and should have added a third goal early in the second half after being sent clear on Artur Boruc's goal which provided the visitors with the cushion they needed following Joshua King's added time reply Without Sturridge's efforts, it's possible Klopp would have had cause to regret making ten changes from the side that triumphed over Dortmund in such dramatic circumstances.

Only Firmino started both games with the Liverpool manager handing a debut to Danny Ward, the young Wales goalkeeper, and naming youngsters Connor Randall, Brad Smith, Kevin Stewart and Sheyi Ojo in his starting eleven.

The changes were understandable given the intensity of Thursday's game, but with Bournemouth full of confidence after recording four victories in their previous six games, it was perhaps inevitable the home side made the more convincing start with home centrebacks Steve Cook and Tommy Elphick both failing to make more of headed chances.

The Liverpool defence, well marshalled by Lucas Leiva, held firm and Klopp's side grew into the game with Joe Allen becoming increasingly influential in midfield.

Allen's 26th minute chip brought Sturridge into the game for the first time with the forward denied by Artur Boruc's smart reactions. The Bournemouth keeper was caught out five minutes before half time, however, when Sturridge's back-heel forced Boruc into a fulllength save and Firmino was on hand to follow up and finish from close range.

Sturridge then doubled the lead in first half added time when he was allowed to rise unhindered and meet Jordan Ibe's free-kick before sending a header inside Boruc's righthand post. Having seen his defenders make cause problems in the Liverpool box, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was frustrated to see them unable to deal with Ibe's dead-ball.

The game should have been over six minutes into the second half when Allen again found Sturridge, this time sending the forward clear on Boruc's goal. Sturridge went for the eyecatching chip wand was left frustrated as his effort drifted narrowly wide.

The miss would not prove costly as Ward produced a number of fine saves to deny Bournemouth until King finally replied in added time. – The Independent

Original source: Sturridge proving his worth to Klopp