Jurgen Klopp has expressed his joy at securing a hard-earned victory over Benfica with an aggregate score of 6-4 from two legs despite seven changes to the squad that started the 2-2 draw with Manchester City. The Reds played a 3-3 game against the Portuguese club on Wednesday.
Liverpool entered the second leg of their quarter-final against Benfica at Anfield with the decisive advantage after beating the Portuguese side 3-1 in the first leg in Lisbon. It looked like the tie was decided when Ibrahim Konaté scored with a header from a corner kick in the 21st minute.
Benfica pulled out of it shortly after through Goncalo Ramos as Liverpool led 4-2 on aggregate. Created by Diogo Jota Roberto Firmino for a tap-in finish in the 55th minute and the Brazilian got a second for himself ten minutes later.
The away team showed tremendous heart to pull off two thanks to Roman Yaremchuk and Darwin Nunez, although Liverpool eventually secured their progress to the semi-finals with an aggregate score of 6-4.
Villarreal now face Liverpool in the semi-finals of European competition, the same side that beat Klopp’s Liverpool in the Europa League final in their first season at Anfield, in 2015/16. The German coach was nonchalant about his side’s defense and expressed his joy at securing their qualification to the semi-finals.
“The day we qualify for the Champions League semi-finals and I’m not happy, come here and knock me out – it wouldn’t make sense. We made seven changes for good reason and have played a very good first half where I liked a lot of things It’s hard to stay 100% focused the opposition will celebrate they got a draw a result here but we don’t didn’t have the perfect mindset at that time,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“Of course it wasn’t exactly what we wanted to do, but that’s not important. We played the game we played, we went through and that’s all I wanted. I’m happy “, he added.
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