Freak injury leaves Liverpool facing goalkeeper crisis
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool might need to play a 35-year-old free agent in goal against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday after backup goalkeeper Adrian hurt his ankle in a freak incident during the team’s post-match celebrations after the UEFA Super Cup.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said a supporter ran onto the field, headed toward the celebrating players, slipped and ended up sliding into the ankle of Adrian — the Spanish goalkeeper who saved what proved to be the deciding penalty in the shootout against Chelsea.
Klopp said Adrian’s ankle is swollen, making him a doubt for the trip to St. Mary’s Stadium on the second weekend of the league season.
With first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker out because of a calf injury sustained in Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Norwich on the opening day of the Premier League season, Klopp is facing something of a crisis.
Andy Lonergan, who was recently released by second-tier Middlesbrough and was on emergency loan at third-tier Rochdale last season, was part of the Liverpool squad during preseason — he played one half of a game — and is still training with the club.
If Adrian doesn’t recover, Lonergan will be start.
“There is no doubt how much we love our fans but if they could all stop doing that,” Klopp said of the fan who ran onto the field.
“That’s the worst example I have so far heard about … It’s not funny, what can I say? I like the fact we don’t have fences in the stadium but it means the supporters have a lot of responsibility. It’s crazy. You think, ‘Wow, how can this thing happen?'”
Irish youngster Caoimhin Kelleher is next in line for Liverpool in the goalkeeping ranks but Klopp said he is “not 100%” either.
Adrian was brought in late in the offseason following Simon Mignolet’s departure for Club Brugge in Belgium.
“I feel mentally ready and I also hope today with the treatment of the ankle it’s going to be much better,” Adrian said of his injury. “But I’m very optimistic to start playing tomorrow (Saturday) again.”