A buoyant Klopp otherwise celebrated the fact that a 2-1 win at the Etihad put his club into the last four for the first time in 10 years
Jurgen Klopp says his Liverpool side came “through the whirlwind” and “found a solution” themselves in the face of an utter Manchester City onslaught, saying it was a “life lesson” to come through such a difficult start against “the best side in the world”.
The German also added he thought it was a “joke” when he heard Barcelona had been knocked out, but said Roma’s achievement in joining Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals was all the greater because they lost Mohamed Salah. A buoyant Klopp otherwise celebrated the fact that a 2-1 win at the Etihad put his club into the last four for the first time in 10 years, and that the manager himself there for the first time in five, describing it as a “cool moment” they are now there together.
That had looked in some doubt despite their 3-0 first-leg lead, as City laid siege to the Liverpool goal and scored after just two minutes. Jurgen Klopp however praised his players for making it easy for him by working it out themselves.
“The problem was that we felt so much under pressure, one against two constantly,” the Liverpool boss said. “The boys found a solution, so it was easy for me.”
Asked about Salah’s clinching strike just after half-time, Klopp said: “We were already through the whirlwind. It [the Gabriel Jesus goal] was on one side the worst start we could have got but on the other side the first question answered. We had come through. The goal made it difficult.
“Over two legs, I really feel we deserve. We scored five goals against Manchester and only conceded one. I didn’t think that was possible. I really think they are the best team in the world at the moment, but knew we could beat them.
“They took all the risk with their starting line-up and it could have worked. But it was clear as well that if they cannot score enough, there is always a chance for us. I would have been nervous if 3-0 down at half-time but still knew we would have had chances too.
“The boys fought so hard tonight, it was unbelievable. After such a difficult start, it’s a great lesson for life. It’s nice we could learn it tonight. We are still in a developmental stage, but already a good team.”
It was also put to Klopp whether he had heard about Roma’s remarkable elimination of Barcelona, with the Italian side coincidentally doing what City needed to and overturning a three-goal deficit.
“I walked up the stairs and somebody told me. I thought it was a joke.
“Not to disrespect Roma. They lost Salah, and are in the semis. That’s something else.
“I think the competition is quite fair. It could have been a City-Barca final.
“It’s a while since Liverpool were in the semi finals and it’s a while since I’ve been in the semi finals so now we’re there together which is a pretty cool moment.”
Jurgen Klopp finally added: “You cannot believe the intensity you feel before these games, everybody saying they will watch it here, with a beer. Sometimes I would like to just sit back with a beer and watch.”