Jurgen Klopp defends Liverpool striker Christian Benteke
Jurgen Klopp runs rule over Christian Benteke's performance in Liverpool's 3-0 win against Exeter
Jurgen Klopp has defended Christian Benteke’s performance in Liverpool’s 3-0 win against Exeter City on Wednesday night.
The Belgium international failed to score against the League Two side in successive FA Cup games despite costing the Reds £32.5m in the summer transfer window.
A striker, if he doesn’t score, is not satisfied – that’s normal
Joe Allen broke the deadlock in the first half before Sheyi Ojo and Joao Teixeira secured a 3-0 in the third-round replay on Merseyside.
Liverpool manager Klopp felt the cup clash was a difficult game for Benteke to effect, particularly given Exeter’s handling of the towering striker.
Klopp told BT Sport: “No. I saw him immediately after the game and he was in good shape. It’s not the most thankful game for a striker, all the defence players jump on him and the ref didn’t help.
“There were a lot of situations, especially in the beginning of the game, where he said that Christian made a foul, and I couldn’t see this. They were normal challenges. It was not easy for him but he was still in the game and he worked over 92 minutes and that was important for me.
“Of course, it would have been good for him and for us if he could have scored tonight, but he didn’t. But be saw he was always in situations, he worked for the spaces around the box, in the box. A striker, if he doesn’t score, is not satisfied – that’s normal. But it was okay.”
The former Borussia Dortmund manager opted against starting Benteke for Liverpool’s Premier League games against Arsenal and Manchester United over the past week.
Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers signed Benteke in a £32.5m deal from Aston Villa in the summer transfer window.
The 24-year-old has scored seven goals in 22 appearances in all competitions for the Merseyside outfit so far this season.