Klopp warns Liverpool of Anfield showdown with Benfica and rejects key issue being at large

Klopp warns Liverpool of Anfield showdown with Benfica and rejects key issue being at large

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp brushed off concerns that his side could have scored more against Benfica, instead focusing on the result.

The Reds claimed a 3-1 win in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie in Lisbon. Ibrahima Konate opened the scoring with his first Liverpool goal, before Sadio Mane made it 2-0.

Benfica responded as Darwin Nunez made it 2-1 to lift the crowd and put the Reds under serious pressure.

Liverpool, who were sloppy at the same time, brought a lot of the pressure upon themselves.

However, they had 18 shots in total and nine on target – and numerous chances to increase their advantage by more than one. Indeed, Luis Diaz restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion with a goal at the death.

Klopp told BT Sport: “An away game in the Champions League is tough and Benfica fought for their lives. We opened the door a bit too much, but they deserved the goal even when we could have defended it better.

“They had absolutely no situations before [their goal], they had these counter-attacks. It’s not easy to keep the ball all the time and they have really good players.

“It was a really tough game, but it was what I expected, especially when they scored. The crowd was there immediately, we always know that a 2-0 is nothing. It’s nice, but not more and they scored the goal.

“Then, it was much more open than we wanted obviously, but in the end we should have scored in the first half, we should have scored in the second half.

“Their goalie was the best player, he made a couple of really good saves. That’s it, two goals up, half time.”

Liverpool return to Anfield with a strong advantage ahead of a potential semi-final against either Villarreal or Bayern Munich.

Klopp insisted that he is not in “dreamland” and knows a two-goal lead is enough at half-time in a knockout tie.

Nevertheless, he warned of a Benfica resurgence at Anfield. The Portuguese club knocked Ajax out in Amsterdam to reach the last 16.

Klopp warns of Benfica, Liverpool showdown

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool v Watford April 2022

“A fourth one would have been nice, but we’re not in dreamland here,” the manager said.

“We have a better result, we know much more about the opponent, they will go for it again.

“They won at Ajax, they won there, ground out all the results in the group stage that they needed.

“We are aware of their quality and now we have a nice game in between, but then we will be ready again for Benfica.”

Indeed, Liverpool’s second leg comes after a massive Premier League title clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

 

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