Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool were rattled as they seal Champions League quarter-final spot
Jurgen Klopp’s side saw things out to reach a fourth quarter-final in five years despite losing their 100 per cent record in the competition this season.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted his side were pushed to their limits as they stumbled into the Champions League quarter-finals despite a 1-0 defeat at Anfield against Inter Milan.
Lautaro Martinez’s 61st-minute goal had given the visitors a chance of overturning the deficit but Alexis Sanchez’s red card for a second bookable offence less than two minutes later blew a hole in their hopes.
Liverpool, who have not lost a European tie when they have won the first away leg – 37 times and counting – should have put the result beyond doubt as Mohamed Salah hit both posts in the second half.
But in keeping with what was, for periods, not the easiest of nights against the Serie A champions, Klopp’s side saw things out to reach a fourth quarter-final in five years despite losing their 100 per cent record in the competition this season.
"The difficulties we had were pretty close to what I expected. Inter are a really, really good side, set up for these kind of games," said Klopp.
"Without playing brilliantly we had clear-cut chances. Over the two legs it's completely fine that they won one and we went through. We could've done better against an opponent that makes life uncomfortable.
"It was a really interesting game. In the end we lost the game which obviously is not cool, we didn't come here to lose a home game.
"The opponent caused us problems but if we had used our chances we win this game. We lost a lot of simple balls, which can happen and when the ball was in the air it was like slapstick with the wind.
"The counter-press was not really there. We were around challenges but not in challenges and we didn't get the momentum, that's what we were lacking."
Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah insisted he was satisfied to secure a place in the quarter-finals, even if it was not delivered in a manner the home side had been expecting.
"A difficult team - in the away game we managed to win and the most important thing is we qualified," the Egyptian told BT Sport.
"I hit the post twice. It's OK - maybe in the next game I will score three. We lost the game and maybe that will give us a push and it's a good game to learn from.
"Everyone wants to win the Champions League and the Premier League and we will fight for both so let's see."
Liverpool are joined in the last eight by Bayern Munich, after Robert Lewandowski scored the fastest hat-trick in Champions League history to destroy RB Salzburg and secure a 7-1 win in Germany.
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