Jurgen Klopp insisted he was happy with his side’s efforts as they progressed to the Champions League semi-finals after an eventful game at Anfield.
Iverpool advanced to the Champions League semi-finals against Villarreal, even a sloppy 3-3 draw with Benfica resulted in a 6-4 aggregate win.
On the last two occasions the two sides have met in the last eight of this competition, the Reds have lifted the trophy (1978 and 1984) and there has been little sign they might not do it three times this season.
Klopp’s side have won eight of their ten games, scored 25 goals – conceding a gap in their only defeat against Inter Milan – and conceded just 11.
A 3-1 lead from the first leg gave them a significant cushion and, like last week at the Estadio da Luz, centre-back Ibrahima Konate opened the scoring with a header.
Roberto Firmino scored twice, his first Champions League goals at Anfield since March 2020 after Goncalo Ramos equalized in the first half.
In an uneven finish, visitors Roman Yaremchuk and Darwin Nunez scored a late goal to dampen the party spirit and warn – albeit for a second-choice defence – that they cannot afford to take the Villarreal threat lightly to take, which is considered an easier draw. who sent Bayern Munich to the semifinals.
“The day we qualify for the Champions League semi-finals and I’m not happy, please come and knock me out,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“We made seven changes. The situation was that the last line had never played together and it was about details, staying 100% focused.
“It wasn’t exactly what we wanted but it doesn’t really matter because if we had played the best game of the season tonight it wouldn’t have made it more likely to reach the final. We’re through and that’s all, what matters, and me.” am really happy.
“The only thing we knew is that it’s going to be difficult because the back row never played together. You lose the guys like Virgil (van Dijk) and those things are normal. It’s not a problem. Benfica believed in it and carry on, that’s all.” It was important that we could make changes and still be successful.”
Klopp went on to suggest that semi-final opponents Villarreal should not be taken lightly after they beat Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.
“If I could now analyze Villarreal it would be very strange. I saw the results, the game was very impressive,” he added.
“I’ve only collected pieces, but to beat Juventus and Bayern Munich, they deserve to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Unai Emery (Villarreal head coach) is the king of the cups, it’s incredible what he’s doing. But give me some time to prepare it properly.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson echoed those sentiments when he said: “They beat good teams. They are a very good team and it will be a difficult game. We have to be ready to give everything and hopefully we can get through the final.
“We want to do our best in every competition. We want to give a big push to participate in all of them.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/champions-league/the-day-we-qualify-for-the-champions-league-semi-final-and-im-not-happy-please-come-and-knock-me-out-jurgen-klopp-41551927.html “The day we qualify for the Champions League semi-finals and I’m not happy, please come and knock me out” – Jurgen Klopp