They creaked, they bent but they did not break. Liverpool Football Club are in the Champions League Semi-Finals. After taking the hits and looking on the ropes in the first half, the Red’s recovered at half-time, applied the adjustments instructed by Klopp and took a win at The Etihad through goals from Salah and Firmino.
The first half was not fun though, James Milner reflects on conceding the early Jesus goal”
“In a way maybe that woke us up as well, that early, says a lot about the boys to come under that pressure in the first half and the end of the first game, going 1-0 down early on, got the crowd up, they a good team and they always going to have chances…
“There is lots to learn from these two games” and “we need to keep improving from these two games.”
(Source: This Is Anfield)
Andy Robertson gave his thoughts on the night and result: “It was unbelievable, first half was tough going, we knew they were gonna come out attacking. We had to ride our luck, if any chances of theirs go in it could have been a different day.”
“We had to play our own game and in the 2nd half we manage to do that… over the two legs I think we deserve it.”
Andy mentioned that the half-time instructions were simple. Robertson: “He is one of those managers who keeps it all calm… he tells us what we need to do better and it was basic, we knew what to do better, we weren’t winning second balls, which were key and we weren’t keeping the ball, which is key and we never created any chances. We needed to push up a wee bit higher.”
Andy was diplomatic when asked who he would like to face in the semi-finals: ‘This club has been here before and they know how hard it is regardless of who you play to get to the final and try and win this trophy. We don’t care who we get, we know how hard its gonna be and we need to work so hard to get to the final cause we need to deserve it.”
Andy reflected to his young days when asked if this is his biggest night as a professional player: “I would say so, get to semi-final of the Champions League you know, as a wee boy you grow up watching these tournaments and you think what its like to play in it… hopefully I get a chance to play in these games and hopefully lead this club back to a final and hopefully the 6th Champions League.”
Gini Wijnaldum reflecting on the scenes in the dressing room after the game:
“The manager already said this is not the highlight of our season, so we have to carry on, trying to perform in all the other games that will come.” Gini was humble when talking about his team’s turn around: “We have to be fair, we got lucky in a few moments and we mustn’t forget that, think we showed character coming from 1-0 behind and we still won the game and also against man city which a good team playing great football.”
Gini describes Klopp’s half-time team talk: “He said we must play football, the moments we play football we created the chance, so he said that we mustn’t just play hectic and play long balls only, try and play football and try to create good chances. He was quite easy to be fair and confident trying to give us the confidence…”
Jurgen Klopp was in high spirits, contemplating the magnitude of his sides achievements, the Reds boss Klopp said: “I really think they are the best team in the world at the moment but I knew we could beat them. We completely deserve to be in the semi-finals.
“We are now in the semis and first of all we should enjoy the moment because it’s obviously a while ago that Liverpool were in the semis. It was a while ago that I was in the semis! “Now we are there together, so that’s quite a cool moment and I’m really happy about it.”
“If we have a good day we can beat anyone, on an average day we concede cheap goals. We’re still in a development phase, but we’re already a good team.”