By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Stan Collymore has claimed Jurgen Klopp “deserves criticism” for his use of substitutes in Liverpool’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to Villarreal on Thursday night.
An Adrian Lopez goal in injury time gave the Spaniards a one-goal advantage heading into the second leg at Anfield next Thursday.
With first-choice striker Divock Origi out injured with damaged ankle ligaments, Klopp surprisingly overlooked the in-form Daniel Sturridge and chose to play without an established striker.
Playmaker Roberto Firmino led the line and Sturridge remained on the bench even though Liverpool were searching for what would have been a precious away goal.
Klopp chose to send on Jordan Ibe to replace the unwell Philippe Coutinho at half-time and fit-again Christian Benteke rather than Sturridge came on for Firmino after 90 minutes.
Former Liverpool striker Collymore took to Twitter to criticise Klopp afterwards.
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) April 28, 2016
Despite the dramatic winner, the semi-final still remains delicately poised before next Thursday’s return leg at Anfield.
The winners will face either Spanish holders Sevilla or Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, who drew 2-2 in their first leg, in the Swiss city of Basel on 18 May.
In other Liverpool news, the club have settled a striker deal.