Jürgen Klopp has been a spoiled man when it comes to match atmosphere. Borussia Dortmund's Gelbe Wand is among the world's most consistently thunderous and creative stadium sections, and with 80.000 fans attending most home games at the Signal Iduna Park, the climate in the arena is one that persistently inspires the home team and provokes dread in visitors.
Despite Liverpool's reputation for quality home support, it has been decades since Anfield consistently created this kind of climate. Certainly, the famous Kop gets up for grudge matches and big European ties, but on a week-to-week basis, the Reds no longer have a standout crowd in terms of noise and support.
One could be forgiven then, for imagining that Klopp might have been less than overwhelmed by the home crowd on occasion, and his public pleas for the crowd to turn it up for specific games this year could indicate as much. He got his way on Thursday night, as the combination of arch-rivals and European knockout rounds inspired the strongest showing from the home fans all year. Klopp noticed, and appreciated it.
"The atmosphere tonight was unbelievable. It was really great and I want to say thank you to everybody that was involved in this atmosphere.
"It was easy to enjoy from the first until the last second. That was Liverpool how I knew it before I came here, so that was really, really great.
"Thank you for this."
The players and fans took turns putting in season-best performances, and the end result was a dominant win that was only kept to a reasonable scoreline by another vexingly masterful performance from David De Gea. And while the Spaniard was the clear standout for his side, Klopp felt every one of his own players delivered quality performances:
"It’s not the first time that Clyney has played well and been very important for us. But tonight, if we start giving grades, if you want this, then there are a lot of good grades.
"Simon Mignolet, we can start with him, he was really good. Everything, absolutely no mistake in this game and it’s difficult to stay concentrated when you always know each cross or corner or each free-kick is really dangerous because [Marouane] Fellaini is on the pitch.
"Emre and Hendo did a brilliant job, Phil, Adam, great, Roberto, Daniel, as long as he was on the pitch, that was really good.
"The substitutes, Joe Allen when he came in [was] so important, so good. Divock Origi, [gave us] again the control of the game because they couldn’t play like they wanted because they knew each bad pass was a counter-attack because Divock and his speed is dangerous too. It was good, so I don’t have to compare the players – tonight I’m really pleased with all of them."
The Reds have been inconsistent all season, but the hope is that, now that the worst of the injuries seem to have passed, will manage to find a steady run of form to close out the season. Knocking their arch-rivals out of the Europa League and moving on to the quarter-finals of European competition for the first time since 2010 would be the perfect way to kick that off.