Football

Klopp: We beat the best team in the world

But Milner and Lovren believe Liverpool needed a wake-up call to do so

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said his side beat the world's best team after the Reds knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League quarter-finals yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Merseyside club beat runaway English Premier League leaders City 2-1 in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium to progress 5-1 on aggregate.

Klopp has now bested Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola in three of their four meetings this season, after City thumped Liverpool 5-0 in their first clash last September.

Yesterday morning's win came after the worst possible start as City took a second-minute lead through Gabriel Jesus. City continued to threaten as Leroy Sane had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside and Bernardo Silva hit the bar from outside the box.

Having weathered the storm, the Reds hit back with goals by Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in the 56th and 77th minutes respectively.

Said Klopp: "I really think they are the best team in the world at the moment but I knew we could beat them.

"We completely deserve to be in the semi-finals.

"You can imagine Pep was not happy with the (disallowed goal) but we've scored five goals against Man City and only conceded one. These numbers are usually not possible."

Another number that has not been possible is Liverpool's goal tally in the Champions League this season. Their haul of 33 is the most of any English team in the competition's history.

But yesterday's win wouldn't have been possible without a wake-up call in Liverpool's ranks. Reds midfielder James Milner felt that City's early opener was a much-needed warning for his side.

He told BT Sport: "Maybe it woke us up to concede that early, it says a lot about the boys coming under that pressure in first half and in the second half last week.

"In the second half today, we got hold of it slightly more but we still have to improve."

Spurring that second-half improvement were raised voices in the away dressing room at half-time.

Said Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren: "To be honest, I was shouting a bit at half-time.

"I told the lads to wake up because it was not good enough and... we were sitting too deep.

"Of course, Klopp said: 'Yes you are sitting too deep because you are not pushing up'...

"I needed to remind the guys that we had 50 minutes to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League."

Five-time winners Liverpool have reached the last four of Europe's showpiece club competition 10 times, the second-best record for an English team after Manchester United.

Key to that return to Europe's top table, according to English football pundits, was the performance of young fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard said on BT Sport: "Look at his age, the magnitude of the game over both legs, who he was up against. He has to be the star man over two legs."

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand added that the 19-year-old's performance was better than City's own English right-back, Kyle Walker. He told BT Sport: "If you didn't know who they were and came to watch a game of football, who looks better? It has to be Trent."

Football