Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool back as European force


The game started out with Liverpool pushing forward, trying to get the crucial away goal they needed to progress after a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the first leg.

With strikers such as Harry Kane, Mohammed Salah and Sergio Aguero not reaching the numbers that they are usually are at this stage in the season, Virgil Van Dijk has to be the firm favourite to take home the PFA Player of the year award this year whether Liverpool go on to win the title or not purely down to the way he has completely transformed the clubs defence since joining last January.

In fact, he was so impressive, that even John Henry had to tweet about him.

No wonder the manager could not hide his delight at the form of Van Dijk, whose other important contribution is to improve the players around him with Joel Matip-the club's fourth-choice centre-back-impressing since getting into the side after injuries to Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren.

"We kept the contest open until Liverpool's second goal".

Liverpool's owner very rarely tweets but he felt the need to hail Van Dijk's performance.

It was also a display of muscle-flexing by City, Liverpool and Spurs that will have been noted by the likes of Barcelona and Juventus, the two continental heavyweights most likely to stand in the way of an English triumph in the final in Madrid on June 1.

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Van Dijk was happy to help his side through to the quarter-finals.

"I think we played too deep, didn't want to make too many risks, and I don't know why".

"We were unlucky on their equaliser, but we got the job done and we're into the last eight".

Mane took his goal tally to 19 from 37 appearances in all competitions so far this season, after the brace against Bayern Munich.

"What can I say? I could write a book about his skills, his strength, how much I like him". "He's so good on the ball, so calm, big and strong - there's not really a weakness in his game at the moment".

"We know the way we're playing, we can always create chances so we were quite confident we would create chances here and score goals".