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Andy Robertson: “It’s Always Nice To Get Through Before The Last Game”

Liverpool are through to the round of 16, thanks in no small feat to Andy Robertson’s return.

AFC Ajax v Liverpool FC: Group A - UEFA Champions League Photo by Marcel ter Bals/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Liverpool punched their ticket for the Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday with a win against Ajax, putting them second in Group A behind Napoli. Their one loss in the group came from leaders Napoli, who Liverpool are due to face next week but the Ajax win means that they’re through to the next round regardless.

The Reds have had a very up and down season so far, but knowing that the Champions League is on their side, something they can still manage while the league is a mess, is comforting. They know what to do, somehow, and know what other teams need as well.

“We knew they had to win,” left back Andy Robertson said following the match.

“We knew what the circumstances were in the game, and they’ve tried to start fast. I don’t think we calmed down quick enough, losing too many balls and things like that.

“The important thing was we didn’t concede, we stayed in the game. I think they had one big chance, but apart from that we managed to keep it tight.

“Then it was just about getting the first goal, winning the second balls and Hendo’s done unbelievable to pick out Mo. I think after that goal we really settled down and started playing our own football and then in the second half we really came into our own and obviously got a massive three points.

“It’s always nice to get through before the last game.”

Robertson, who had been part of the injury corps of the squad this season until the weekend, clocked an assist in the second half when Darwin Nuñez scored to make it 2-0. Nuñez had missed a clear cut chance in the first half, with a beautiful ball from Roberto Firmino just hitting the post after Darwin’s effort, and Roberston knew they had to rectify that mistake.

“Darwin was in at half-time really angry at himself and disappointed for missing that chance,” Robertson continued.

“I sat next to him in the changing room, and I don’t know if he understood a word I said, but I said, ‘I’ll put a cross on your head and you’ll score, no problem’ - maybe we need to say that more often!”

That kind of confidence in shooting has been part of the missing ingredients for the season, and it surely helped Nuñez get the goal he had been missing, leading the Reds to feel a little more secure in the match - and giving them the ability to score another, this time by The Child Harvey Elliott.

“Obviously he got the second goal... a three-goal cushion is always dangerous, but it’s always nice as well. Then we followed it up with a fantastic goal by Harv and then I think we were pretty much in control,” the Scot added.

“We started making changes, could rest a couple of people, the younger lads came on and started controlling the game. Three-nil at this place, a really tough place to come and the clean sheet is so important for us now.

“We’re just happy we’re through into the last 16 with a game to spare.”

Thoughts now turn to the weekend, with Leeds visiting Anfield on Saturday, and Napoli again next week.

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