Liverpool’s goalkeeper crisis has taken its most remarkable turn yet, as Adrian could miss today’s clash at Southampton after being injured by a pitch invader.
Adrian was signed as a free agent 12 days ago, as cover for Alisson Becker. But he found himself between the posts for the European Super Cup final in Istanbul after the Brazilian was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a torn calf.
But, to manager Jurgen Klopp’s dismay, now Adrian is a doubt for the game at St Mary’s after an incident in the immediate celebrations after the keeper made the decisive save from Tammy Abraham in the penalty shoot-out.
With Adrian in a huddle with team-mates, a Liverpool fan slid into the players, narrowly missing Joe Gomez but flooring Adrian. He careered into Adrian with such force that it has left his ankle swollen. The injury was so severe on Thursday that it required three hours of treatment from head physio Lee Nobes on the flight home.
He was assessed again yesterday afternoon at Melwood, Liverpool’s training ground, and the 32-year-old Spaniard insisted in an interview with the club’s website that he would be fine.
‘It was a strange, weird situation because we were celebrating between us and one guy jumped from the crowd and started running,’ he said. ‘I think he slipped in front of us and also the security with him, made a tackle on me from the side. It was a strange situation. But I feel much better.’
Klopp, though, was less encouraging about what he called a ‘crazy’ situation. It could end up with 35-year-old journeyman Andy Lonergan, who has been training at Liverpool for five weeks, taking the gloves. Irish youngster Caoimhin Kelleher has only just returned to training after a wrist injury.
Liverpool have written to UEFA to make clear their unhappiness about the security failings which led to the incident.
It follows someone getting on to the pitch at Wembley during the Community Shield, and a male streaker managing to invade the Anfield pitch in the opening Premier League match against Norwich.
The episode has left Klopp bewildered. ‘There was only Liverpool fans in Istanbul pretty much so it probably was one,’ Klopp said. ‘What can I say? There is no doubt about how much we love our fans, but if they could all stop doing that... that’s the worst example I have heard about.
‘It happened against City in the Community Shield when someone was running on the pitch and against Norwich someone ran on the pitch. It’s not funny. The girl in the Champions League final made money off it.
‘I like that we don’t have fences in stadiums but that means a lot of responsibility for supporters as well. If one supporter cannot hesitate or stop himself, then supporters around him should do it. It’s not funny. It’s crazy. How can something like this happen?
‘Before the season at the Premier League meeting, they told us do not get involved with anything like that, but we are all human beings and if they get close you do not know the person and for us it is not funny.
‘It looks like it is happening a bit more often. I do not know exactly how much it has happened in the Premier League since I was here. You see a man with his d*** swinging around. Who wants to see that? It is an incident and we all have to find a solution to it.’