Jurgen Klopp has revealed the main reason Liverpool conceded three goals to Benfica and praised next opponent Villarreal.
The Reds drew 3-3 with Benfica at Anfield to give them a 6-4 aggregate win in the Champions League quarter-final clash. Ibrahima Konate gave the home team the lead, but Goncalo Ramos fired past Alisson to equalize Benfica.
Roberto Firmino scored twice after the break to give Liverpool a mattress of two goals. However, strikers Roman Yaremchuk and Darwin Nunez made it 3-3 to give the Portuguese side some hope of a famous comeback.
That ultimately didn’t happen, though, sending Klopp’s men into the final four of Europe’s elite knockout competition – our player ratings are in. here. They will face Villarreal after the resounding victory of the Yellow Submarine over Bayern.
During a post-match interview with Sport (via bbc sport), Klopp explained how the change of the back four had led his team to concede three goals.
“The day we qualify for the Champions League semi-final and I’m not happy, please come and take me out,” he said.
Jurgen Klopp emphasizes team rotation
“We made seven changes. The situation was that the last line had never played together and it was about details, about being one hundred percent focused.
“It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but it’s not absolutely important because if we played the best game of the season tonight, it wouldn’t have been more likely to get to the final.
“We are done and that is all that matters and I am very happy.
“The only thing we knew is that it would be difficult since the back row never played together. You lose the boys like Virgil [van Dijk] and these things are normal. This is not a problem.
“Benfica kept believing and kept going, that’s all. It was important that we could make changes and still be successful. Alright.”
Regarding Unai Emery’s team, Klopp added: “If I could do an analysis of Villarreal right now it would be very strange. I saw the results, the game was very impressive.
“I only picked up pieces but to beat Juventus and Bayern Munich they deserve to be in the Champions League semi-finals. Unai Emery is the king of cups, what he is doing is incredible. But give me a little time to prepare it properly.
The Liverpool captain looks towards Villarreal
During a separate post-match interview with SportLiverpool captain Jordan Henderson said: “I think we would like to do better, but I felt we started well, we could have scored more goals in the first half. We did well, but we are disappointed with the goals we conceded.
“We knew it would be difficult. We wanted to give everything and we have passed, which is the most important thing”.
About the semifinal rival, Villarreal, Henderson added: “They have eliminated good teams. They are a very good team and it will be a difficult tie.
“We need to be ready to give everything and hopefully we can advance to the final.
“We want to give our best in every competition. We want to give a big push to compete in all of them”.
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