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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool are back where we belong

15 March 2019
Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool are back where we belong

I wanted to win for Liverpool, not to beat Bayern.

"But in both games I think we played too defensive".

Sadio Mane scored twice to send Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool into the Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-1 win at Bayern Munich in the second leg of the last-16 on Thursday (NZT).

"In the first half we scored an outstanding goal - wow - and by half-time time everybody knew it would not be easy for Munich, and that is important information for the opponent after they were happy with a 0-0 at Anfield". He was the orchestrator in Munich and looked like a teenager playing among 10-year-olds, so comfortable was he on the ball.

Virgil van Dijk headed Liverpool into a deserved lead in the 69th minute before Mane ended any hopes of a Bayern fightback with a late far-post header from Mo Salah's cross.

"We knew that it would be a very tough game, but I think in both games we were playing too defensive", the Poland worldwide told Viasport.

Right now, he is the best defender in the world, with nobody anywhere questioning his value.

Virgil van Dijk outjleaps the Bayern defence to head in Liverpool's second goal from James Milner's cross
GETTY IMAGESVirgil van Dijk outjleaps the Bayern defence to head in Liverpool's second goal from James Milner's cross

They know how much Liverpool have been indebted to Mane recently, and were quick to praise him once again once the full time whistle had sounded.

His quality shined even more in contrast to Bayern's defensive pairing of Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule.

'So young, already so mature, so strong, all good.

The Senegal global also headed in Liverpool's third of the night for his 10th goal in as many games in all competitions for the Merseyside club. "He is a massive threat".

Liverpool's owner very rarely tweets but he felt the need to hail Van Dijk's performance.

No wonder the manager could not hide his delight at the form of Van Dijk, whose other important contribution is to improve the players around him with Joel Matip - the club's fourth-choice centre-back - impressing since getting into the side after injuries to Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren. They didn't go forward, they just sort of sat and waited.