Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp questioned referee Roger East’s performance after his side were knocked out of the FA Cup by West Ham, courtesy of a late extra-time winner.

Klopp was particularly aggrieved by the decision to award West Ham a free-kick that led to Angelo Ogbonna’s 121st-minute winner. Klopp believed the incident involving Lucas Leiva was one of a number of “funny decisions” from East.

“We did a lot of things really good, we played the game in the right direction,” said Klopp. “But the first real chance went to West Ham.

“Our goal was great, a high-quality goal from Coutinho. Then still we did well, created chances and put up a big fight.

“[But] they got a free-kick, without a foul, and we concede a goal. So now we go home. We created chances, but we didn’t score goals – that’s the major mistake you can make in football. But it’s better to create chances and to miss than to not create chances.

“I’m not long enough here to judge these things. If you are satisfied with the performance of the referee, write it. If not, say it.

“There were a lot of situations that, on a better day, I would say are funny decisions. I would have made a few different decisions, on both sides. The only reason we were here was to go to the next round, so we are disappointed.”

Despite the result, Klopp believes his side can take positives from the match in which he filed a youthful, experiemntal line-up.

“Liverpool in this moment is not the most sunny,” he added. “2-0 in the lead [against Sunderland], manager in hospital, out of the FA Cup, but tomorrow when we get up, the sun will shine. If we want, all together, we can take a lot of positive things out of this game.

“I thought they [his young side] could play like that, so I’m not surprised. But the only reason we were here was to go into the next round and so we are disappointed. That’s how it is.”
Daniel Sturridge returned as a second-half substitute against West Ham
Daniel Sturridge returned as a second-half substitute against West Ham

Liverpool were boosted by the return of Daniel Sturridge, who dame on as a second-half substitute to make his first appearance since December. Despite his layoff the striker looked lively on his return, but Klopp said it is too early to tell whether he will start at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge looked lively on his return to action after a two-month layoff.

“We have to talk first with Daniel, the doctor and all of the medical staff before I make a decision about this,” Klopp said.

“The game was a little bit longer than I thought because I thought we could decide it after 90 minutes, but we didn’t so it was [another] 30 minutes plus. We will see.

“It was great [to have Sturridge back], everybody saw it. Divock Origi is back, Philippe Coutinho is back, so that’s good, but we need consistency in the line-up.”