Daniel Sturridge was suffering cramps so didn’t want to take a penalty in the shootout on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed via Sky Sports.
Sturridge, arguably Liverpool’s best player alongside Coutinho, endured a poor 120 minutes against Manchester City, and wasn’t included in the list of five penalty takers – who sadly botched the job.
Emre Can bagged a panenka but Coutinho, Lucas and Adam Lallana missed their efforts and Yaya Toure scored the winner before James Milner even had the chance to take his spot-kick.
“We asked the players and these five players said ‘yes’,” Klopp said after the game.
“There was no chance Daniel could take one. He had cramps in the last few minutes. He couldn’t walk. Everyone who was available took the penalty.
“You need a bit of luck, but you need to shoot a little bit better than we did. They know how it works and today it was not too difficult for their goalkeeper.
“Simon Mignolet was close to the ball a few times. That’s how it is and we have to accept it.”
For us, it’s crazy that Milner didn’t take a spot-kick when he hasn’t missed one this season and is our first-choice taker.
Surely, it makes sense for him to take an early one, hopefully score, and pile pressure on the Manchester City takers.
Captain Jordan Henderson, who’s taken penalties for Liverpool before, didn’t take one either.
We have to congratulate Lucas, Coutinho and Adam Lallana for having the bottle to step up, but like Klopp said, they didn’t take them well enough.
We’re actually not too bothered Sturridge didn’t take one, as he has a poor penalty record.