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Klopp defends struggling Liverpool flop as West Ham dump Reds out of FA Cup

Speaking after Liverpool‘s FA Cup elimination at the hands of West Ham United, Jurgen Klopp has moved to defend misfiring striker Christian Benteke.

The Hammers took the lead through Michail Antonio, but the Reds responded when Philippe Coutinho cheekily rolled a free kick past Darren Randolph.

Both sides had the chances to win it as the match wore on, but the East London side ultimately secured progression to the next round of the cup when Angelo Ogbonna sent a header past Simon Mignolet in the last minute of extra time.

Benteke was once again guilty of a swathe of missed chances at the Boleyn Ground, and the Belgian’s goalless streak with the Merseyside giants continues—to the dismay of the Hammers fans.

Admittedly, Benteke has had his fitness concerns since moving to Anfield from Aston Villa in a high-profile £32.5 million deal in July [fee as per Sky Sports].

However, the 25-year-old has failed to ignite, and has scored just six goals and contributed two assists in 21 Premier League outings, of which nine have been from the bench.

Speaking after the match—as reported by Goal—Klopp has defended his misfiring frontman, and praised Benteke for what he did do during the match, even if the goal didn’t come.

“Ask 80 to 90 per cent of all strikers in the world – high-quality, low-quality, no-quality – they will tell you they’ve had times like this,” the former Borussia Dortmund coach began.

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“It’s like it is and you have to carry on. You have to go on, there’s no other situation. All the people in the world want the easy goal, but then the easy goal doesn’t help, so you have to play, you have to improve, you have to want to do all the things – that’s how it always is. It’s no different for Christian.

“But tonight, it was a really good game without the maximum finish, but he did a lot, he worked a lot, so it was a big step – that’s good for us and that’s good for him.”

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