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Klopp's gamble fails to pay off

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Romelu Lukaku struck me in the face on purpose - Liverpool's Dejan Lovren

Romelu Lukaku appeared to graze Dejan Lovren's face with his boot late in the first half.
Mark Ogden expected much more out of Liverpool and Man United following their dire goalless draw at Anfield.

MARIBOR, Slovenia -- Dejan Lovren believes Romelu Lukaku deliberately struck him in the face in Liverpool's draw with Manchester United on the weekend.

Lukaku appeared to catch Lovren in the head with his boot after a tackle during the first half at Anfield, but did not receive any punishment from referee Martin Atkinson.

The FA will take no further action against the Manchester United forward, while Lovren insists the incident is now in the past.

When asked to explain what happened on Saturday, Lovren told a news conference: "I made a tackle there and I just felt he was over me and could just move away. To be honest, my point of view is that he did on purpose.

"Normally you would apologise after that, but I saw that he was nervous during the game. I think maybe that was also the reason.

"It's over and I cannot change it and nobody can change it. It is what it is."

On the FA's call, the Liverpool defender added: "It's not my decision. I cannot say I'm disappointed, but it is what it is and we need to move on. That's football -- it's part of the game."

Lovren was speaking to the assembled media in Slovenia ahead of Liverpool's Champions League tie with Maribor on Tuesday night.

Dejan Lovren and Romelu Lukaku clashed during Saturday's goalless draw at Anfield.

Liverpool are looking to record their first win of the group stages after frustrating draws with Sevilla and Spartak Moscow in the opening two matches.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is adamant his players will not underestimate the Slovenian champions, insisting the game does not provide the opportunity to make wholesale changes.

"I know everybody is thinking ahead of a game like this that this is the place where you should rotate or whatever," Klopp told a news conference. "It is the last place where I would do things like this.

"Yes, we will make one or two changes, but the first job is not to think the same thing what obviously you think already and underestimate the opponent. It's so important.

"They had nine Champions League games so far -- they've chosen the hard way. I heard that the stadium is usually not so loud, but [it's a] Champions League night, so it will be loud. It will be a special atmosphere.

"We need to think about this and not who we can bring over and give Champions League experience to or whatever."

Liverpool have already confirmed at least one change will be made for the Maribor game, with Loris Karius set to replace Simon Mignolet in goal.

Meanwhile, Lovren says he is now fit after troubling back and groin injuries that were forcing him to take painkillers and miss training sessions.

"I'm fit now," the central defender said. "I had issues with my back and my groin one week ago.

"I skipped the first match of the internationals, so I think that helped me to put the pain a little bit down.

"Yes, I was struggling. But now it's over and I'm feeling good and feeling fit."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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