Belfast Telegraph

We are back: Jurgen Klopp proud to put Liverpool among European elite after victory at Bayern Munich

Sadio Mane scored twice at Bayern Munich (Kerstin Joensson/AP)
Sadio Mane scored twice at Bayern Munich (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

By Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declared his side's thumping Champions League victory against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena was 'a really big one', as two goals from Sadio Mane sandwiched another from Virgil van Dijk in a comprehensive 3-1 win.

Klopp's side turned on the style at the Allianz Arena to secured a comfortable passage to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for a second successive season, with their three away goals more than enough to see off Bayern after a tense 0-0 draw in the first leg at Anfield.

Liverpool's German manager Klopp could not stop smiling as the final whistle sounded, as he lavished praise on his players after what may have been their finest performance of the season.

"Bayern don't lose many games here, so this is a really big one," declared Klopp. "Especially in the second half, it was very, very, very mature. In a game like this you can never rest, but this is absolutely deserved.

"We all want to see this team on an international landscape and that is where we believe we should be. Results and performances like this are important to confirm we are at that level now.

"The first goal from Sadio I have to watch back probably 500 times. It was outstanding what he (Mane) was doing there and defensively it was so good. We didn't defend the way we do usually in the away games of the Champions League but today we did.

"Virgil van Dijk gives organisation on set-pieces and he is dangerous. He is a massive threat. The size we have and the power we have... it was a big goal when it came for him.

"I am so proud of the boys. In a game like this, there will be mistakes but you have to stay in the game. Control the moments you can control and stay in the game. The game didn't look like Bayern ever outplayed us. We scored the other two and could have scored another one with that chance for Mohamed Salah.

"It didn't look like Bayern would outplay us and that gave us confidence. It was really difficult for Bayern and we are in the quarter-finals, which is amazing.

bpanews_672bcc22-5167-420c-84ef-590dd097c117_1
Jurgen Klopp celebrates Liverpool’s progression to the quarter-finals (Matthias Schrader/AP)

"It is a wonderful Champions League night for Liverpool again and that's good. Somebody will play against somebody in the next game. The boys love this competition. They dig in and I like it. The desire was outstanding so all good."

Klopp insisted his joy as not applied because Bayern were the team on the receiving end of Liverpool's masterclass, as he stressed his long-standing rivalry with the Bundesliga's biggest club that does back to his time as Borrusia Dortmund boss was not a motivation in the tie.

"I didn't just want to beat Bayern. I wanted to win with Liverpool," he told BT Sport. "I am sure I will have a lot of fans happy from Dortmund and if I can help them, then that's great too."

Van Dijk saluted his side's rock solid display in Germany, as he admitted his goal was one of the most important he has scored in his career.

"It was a great result and a great evening," declared Van Dijk. "We got the job done and now it's on to the last eight. This feels amazing. I am so happy to score, but we going through is all that matters and we can enjoy this now."

Klopp confirmed Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson twisted his ankle in an incident that forced him out of the game after just 14 minutes, with his condition to be assessed when he returns to the club's Melwood training ground on Thursday.

Independent.ie

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph