Adrian Injured by Fan, 'Very Optimistic' to Play for Liverpool vs. Southampton

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Adrian before he enters the field during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City at Anfield on August 09, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed goalkeeper Adrian was injured by a pitch invader at the end of the team's UEFA Super Cup win.

Klopp originally stated Adrian was a doubt for Saturday's clash with Southampton in the Premier League. However, Adrian said he is "very optimistic" about playing, according to Glenn Price of the club's website:

"It was a strange, weird situation because we were celebrating between us and one guy jumped from the crowd and started running.

"I think he slipped in front of us and also the security with him and made me a tackle from the side. It was a bit of a strange situation but I feel much better today and I hope [I'm] ready for tomorrow."

The Reds beat Chelsea 5-4 in a penalty shootout on Wednesday after a 2-2 draw in normal time, and Adrian's save from Tammy Abraham clinched the trophy for the Reds.

Per Paul Gorst of the Liverpool Echo, Klopp was unhappy with the supporter who left the Reds goalkeeper with a knock:

Paul Gorst @ptgorst

Klopp on Adrian's potential injury. "We love our fans, no doubt but if they could stop doing that. We played v City someone ran on the pitch Streaker? Norwich, someone as well. It's not funny. Like the girl in the CL final, she made money. What can we do?"

With first-choice stopper Alisson Becker also sidelined with an injury, it means the Reds may be down to their third-choice option between the sticks at St Mary's: veteran Andy Lonergan.

Per Dominic King of the Daily Mail, the Liverpool manager has confirmed the 35-year-old is preparing to be involved in the game:

Dominic King @DominicKing_DM

This is serious: Jurgen Klopp says Adrian a doubt for the game at Southampton. Injured his ankle when a fan ran on pitch and slid into the celebrating players. Klopp says Andy Lonergan will be “ready” if he has to play.

For Liverpool, the injury to Adrian comes at a bad time, given he would have taken confidence from his big moment on Wednesday.

Adrian came up big when his team needed him in the shootout, and he would have been desperate to make an impression before Alisson returns.

Lonergan would represent an experienced alternative, having been a consistent goalkeeper in the Football League for many years, enjoying spells with Preston North End, Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers. However, he spent the previous season on loan at Rochdale, making just seven appearances.

Klopp had further disappointing team news for Reds supporters, with Naby Keita not fit to feature after suffering an injury ahead of the Super Cup:

paul joyce @_pauljoyce

Naby Keita out of Southampton with hip muscle injury

Given their midweek exploits, it would be no shock if Liverpool were feeling jaded before the match with Southampton.

The Reds were a little short of their best against Chelsea, with the Blues able to get at their defence multiple times. That will be a concern for Klopp, especially after Norwich City were able to get in behind on a number of occasions at Anfield in the first game of the Premier League season, despite an eventual 4-1 win for the home side.

Klopp said he's not too worried by the defensive issues:

Paul Gorst @ptgorst

Klopp: "We have to find ourselves in our best defensive part. We have to find a way to win those games and that is what we do. We played City - the best team - and Chelsea who are still a great team, Norwich, we scored 4 and didn't react like we wish, that is normal."

Paul Gorst @ptgorst

Klopp: "We don't defend higher than we did before. Chelsea scored twice but they were offside. The flag should go up [earlier]. "We want to do the right things in the right moment. We don't defend 10 yards higher."

Saturday will see Southampton play their first home game of the season, and there is likely to be a lively backdrop to the game as such.

Fortunately for Liverpool, Saints don't appear to be in the best form, as they were hammered 3-0 by Burnley in their opener. When the two sides met on the south coast last term, the Reds came from behind to secure a 3-1 win.