Liverpool FC overcame a slow and sluggish start to beat Ajax 3-0 in Amsterdam to move into the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League.
Manager Jürgen Klopp spoke about what qualifying means, and overcoming adversity as a team:
“I didn’t think a second about the Napoli game yet, but qualifying for the knockout stages I think nobody ever should take for granted, it’s really difficult.
“We did it again, which is a big achievement in itself, in a game which started off really tricky for us, and that makes the victory in the end even sweeter, because Ajax are a really good team, and we beat them twice.”
“Today the first half an hour, maybe 35 minutes, they were the better team. They looked much more settled than us - that might be normal because we changed again slightly, and we had to press slightly different and had to get used to that. But that’s normal, it’s an away game in the Champions League, it’s difficult.”
“We came through that, with one situation where we were probably lucky and the other with a good block and then we scored our goal, and you can see how the goal can open pretty much everything.”
“It was brilliant and the next situation was a sensational football moment, unfortunately we hit the post there. Then we scored the other two goals and controlled the game, which is really good, and now we are really happy about going to the last 16.”
In the end, it’s just good that Liverpool will continue to have European football to play for when the World Cup is over.
“I’m not sure what is better in our situation, to fly through a game or to overcome difficulties and in the end to develop into your best self - that is obviously very helpful as well, and today it was like that.”
“In the end we just did really well. I would be over the moon if we played here, 0-0 and got through, because it is all about getting through, and we did that with the 3-0, and that’s perfect.”
“We scored really wonderful goals, the first goal, the pass by Hendo (Jordan Henderson, for Salah) was exceptional, the second goal was a great cross (by Andy Robertson) and Darwin takes on pretty much everybody, and then Harvey crowned his really good performance with a sensational finish.”
Liverpool have one game left - they will host Napoli at Anfield next Tuesday night. The Reds are three points behind the Italian side, and could still overtake them for first place, but it’s extremely unlikely as they have a seven-goal advantage in goal difference.