It was clear shortly after he came on in the 58th minute that Daniel Sturridge wouldn't be capable of replicating his dominant substitute appearance against Chelsea from last season. That was a violent show of force and skill; Sunday proved entirely harmless from a player who was nowhere near fit. We know what the young English forward is capable of, and the 30-plus minutes he logged against his former club last weekend was nowhere near his best.
So it's not surprising today to hear that Sturridge's fitness is still in question ahead of Monday's crucial visit to Crystal Palace, with Brendan Rodgers noting that his 20-goal man is working to recover in time to have an impact at Selhurst Park:
"We'll see over the next 48 hours. He hadn't trained since he got injured in the [Manchester City game], so it was a bit much [against Chelsea]. He had worked really hard to get back and we needed something on the bench that could support us and help us in the game but unfortunately, it wasn't to be. But he's certainly in a much better place. He's worked tirelessly this week with the medical team. He re-joins the group and we'll see how he is come Monday."
Understandable that both player and manager would have forced the issue a bit against Chelsea; for the former it was another chance to have an impact against the club he felt didn't give him enough of a chance, while the latter had few other options available that might actually be capable of improving the side that was already on the pitch. With Jordan Henderson suspended, Rodgers was further limited, as one of Joe Allen, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, or Henderson himself would have been available to make an appearance as well.
With Henderson set to miss for sure, hopefully Sturridge will be ready to go as Liverpool try to keep their title challenge going on Monday night.