Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes his team are back on the map following last night’s 3-1 victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. In front of a crowd of more than 68000 people including Franz Beckenbauer and Bayern President Uli Hoeness, Liverpool knocked Bayern out of the Champions League in the last 16 for the first time since 2011.
Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead before a Joel Matip own goal drew Bayern level. However, Virgil van Dijk restored Liverpool’s lead before Mane added a third to seal the fate of the match.
This was a much needed win for Liverpool as many started questioning the club’s temperament and their ability to handle pressure. In January, the Reds had a comfortable lead at the top of the table. However, draws against West Ham, Leicester City, Manchester United and Everton saw them slip below Manchester City in the table. The 4-2 win against Burnley boosted Liverpool’s morale but they needed a big win against a top-quality club to silence the club’s doubters. And last night, Liverpool got exactly that.
Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten run in two-leggged ties as Liverpool manager continued and the German was pleased with his team’s performance.
Following the match, Klopp said, “Scoring three goals here is massive and a big step for us, a big, big step. We will see what we can do with it but it is a fantastic sign. We set a mark for LFC tonight that we are back on the international landscape as a football club. I am really happy about the result and the fact that we are through. I knew we had a chance but I didn’t expect it would happen, but the boys made it happen and it was really brilliant.
This is important for where we want to get to. There are some places in world football that whatever team comes here – Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona – they wouldn’t expect to win it. They know it’s a tough place to come. This club always has outstandingly strong football teams but we kept them away from our goal as well as possible. There were not too many difficult situations in and around our box and that is a massive sign.
It is not about playing free-flowing football because that is not possible against a side of this quality, you have to find different ways and we found them. That makes me really proud and happy because I think this club deserves recognition and awareness again. We are back – that’s good, we have a lot to learn but we are back. We are back. There is no doubt we are back again.”
Having sealed their place in the Champions League quarter-finals, Liverpool will next travel to London to play Fulham on Sunday.
The Reds will find out their quarter-final opponent tomorrow.