Paul Merson says Jurgen Klopp got it horribly wrong

Paisley Gateway

The German manager went with Roberto Firmino to lead his attack in the Europa League defeat at Villarreal.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has claimed that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp got it "horribly wrong" by not playing a recognised centre-forward in Thursday's 1-0 Europa League defeat at Villarreal.

The Spanish side drew first blood in the opening leg of last night's semi-final tie as Adrian Lopez struck a last-gasp winner to give Marcelinho's side the slightest of advantages ahead of next week's return clash at Anfield.

Prior to kickoff, Klopp raised one or two eyebrows with his team selection when it was discovered that he had omitted in-form Daniel Sturridge, who had three goals in each of his last three Premier League outings for the Reds.

With Divock Origi out injured, the England international was expected to spearhead the attack, but Roberto Firmino was given the nod and the visitors failed to secure an away goal.

Asked by his Sky Sports' Fantasy Football Club colleague if he should have played a recognised striker, Merson says the ex-Borussia Dortmund coach got it wrong - horribly so, in fact.

"Yeah, I thought he got it wrong if I'm being honest," he said.

"If you play away in Europe you've got to try get an away goal. It's so important in Europe and I just think 1-0 is a massive score now for Villarreal. So yeah I thought he got it horribly wrong."

Not the best result, but the way in which they beat Borussia Dortmund at Anfield in the previous round will give Klopp, the players and every Liverpool fan huge encouragement that they can turn it around on Merseyside.

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