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Klopp delight as Liverpool set up Barcelona blockbuster

 

Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk

By Carl Markham

Jurgen Klopp declared Liverpool have made a "big statement" by reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League for the second year in a row.

Three goals in the final half an hour saw Liverpool triumph 4-1 in Porto to seal a 6-1 aggregate win in their quarter-final and set up a last-four meeting with Barcelona.

"For us to be in the semi-finals is unbelievable really, the second time in a row in the semi-finals is something really crazy," Klopp said.

Barcelona and Lionel Messi now await, and Klopp could not hide his grin as he looked forward to pitting his wits against the Catalan giants - even if he must first focus on Sunday's Premier League game against Cardiff as Liverpool continue to push on two fronts.

"Now we are in the semi-final against Barcelona, I'm really happy that we play them," he said. "We will find things that we think we can use against them, but I'm not worrying about that tonight.

"Tonight we are in the semi-final but on Sunday we are playing Cardiff. That's in my mind and will be on my mind 100 per cent when I wake up.

"I'm looking forward to it but not tonight. The news that there's a proper football game between Liverpool and Barcelona is really good news and I'm happy for all the people in the football club.

"To be in the semi-final is a big statement. I'm really proud of the boys and what they did."

Porto played on the front foot for most of the night but struggled to turn chances into goals, and the tie was effectively over when Sadio Mane prodded home Liverpool's first chance of the night in the 28th minute.

Mo Salah doubled the lead in the 65th minute and though Eder Militao headed in for the hosts, further goals from Roberto Firminho and Virgil Van Dijk made for a comfortable Liverpool win.

"We had to defend in the first half a lot, but OK, that's no problem, that's something that we have to do," Klopp said. "The big difference is that it doesn't cost us confidence. We are under pressure but no problem."

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