Klopp was understandably pleased to have overcome a potential banana skin by easily dispatching Exeter City in the FA Cup third round replay at Anfield on Wednesday night, but he also reserved a few words of encouragement for our out-of-sorts hit man, Christian Benteke.
“I saw him after the game and he was in good shape. It’s not the most thankful game for a striker, all the defensive players jump on him,” he told BT Sport.
“The ref didn’t help. There were a lot of situations, especially in the beginning of the game, when he said [Benteke committed] a foul. I couldn’t see this – they were normal challenges.”
“[Benteke] worked over the 92 minutes, and that was important to me,” he went on.
“It would have been good for him, and us, if he could have scored tonight. He didn’t, but he worked for the space around the box and in the box.”
“A striker, if he doesn’t score, isn’t satisfied. That’s normal, but he was okay.”
Despite Klopp’s (possibly generous) words, there were audible murmurs of discontent from the Anfield faithful.
The Belgian headed an easy chance over the bar, headed another into the side-netting when he should have at least hit the target, and twice failed to convert from one-on-one situations.
That said, he did play a major role in our opening goal which for a long time looked like it could be the match winner, so it’s only fair that fans give him due credit for that.