It wasn’t always pretty, but in the end Liverpool left the Estádio da Luz in Tuesday with a 3-1 victory over Benfica and a two-goal advantage to take home to Anfield for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
For manager Jürgen Klopp, then, that was all that mattered. Liverpool could have had another goal or two. Liverpool perhaps should have defended better and not let Benfica back into it. But in the end they got their result.
“We came here for a result,” Klopp noted. “I didn’t expect the game being any easier. Benfica really fought for their lives. It was clear when they scored that the crowd will be back and the atmosphere was really, really good.
“And good football teams tend to use that. But we could calm them down immediately a little bit with the three changes, and I think it helped. The other boys worked really hard but it was helpful that we could bring fresh legs.”
Now, they will face Benfica at Anfield next Wednesday in the second leg—with a potential title-decider in the Premier League against Manchester City on one side and an FA Cup semi-final also against City on the other.
They have enough of an advantage, too, that they might even be able to rest and rotate a few key players next Wednesday and put more of their focus on the two City games, but without letting their focus drop against Benfica.
“We scored the third one and I think everybody agrees we could have scored more goals, maybe should have,” Klopp added. “It’s half-time, we are two goals up. Now they have to come to Anfield and we have to use that.”