You could not wipe the smile off Jurgen Klopp‘s face after Liverpool’s 2-0 win at Arsenal sealed their passage to Wembley for a cup final for the second time in his reign.
Here are four key points from the boss after his team secured their place in the League Cup final:
‘So many outstanding performances!’
There was plenty of pride on show from Klopp as he assessed his side’s victory, with the words “outstanding” and “special” encompassing it all.
“[Trent] was outstanding, but I saw so many outstanding performances.
“A very important game against a really strong Arsenal side, with the problems we have there are now not plenty of options to change properly.
“What the boys put out tonight was really special.”
Dispelling the myth
The League Cup has readily been stated to be towards the bottom of Klopp’s priority list but he’s been insistent it’s not the case.
It’s more of the situations the Reds have found themselves in, and the “unlucky” opponents they get in the draw, when the competition starts each season.
“That’s not true,” Klopp said of more interest this season. “The situation is always difficult at that time of the year; who is available, how many games did you play?
“I cannot just pick a team on paper and then say ‘let them play’. We have to consider a lot of things and we always did that.
“You need a bit of luck to get through, we never had that and we had pretty tricky draws early.
“I can’t always say it was unlucky but we had these moments where we thought, ‘oh, an away game at Chelsea is not the easiest draw!’
“We want to go for everything.”
Thomas Tuchel’s side now await on February 27 and Klopp knows what to expect from the occasion but before then, the Reds have Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League games to contest.
“Yeah, Chelsea. If you play a final it is likely you will face an outstandingly strong team, that’s what happened now,” Klopp said.
“Nevertheless, we wanted to qualify and that’s what we did. Wembley is a special place, as we all know, but a lot of games to play until then.
“We will see where we are then but we really put a lot of effort into this competition and we really wanted to go through.”
And can’t forget Jota!
He was the star of the show with his match-winning double and rightly earned the adulation of his manager.
“Mentality and quality was the reason why we signed him, the way he played at Wolves, the runs, the defending he had to do but was always able to produce some exciting stuff.
“That is why we signed him and that he can show that in our kit is really nice to see. He is incredibly important for us.”
What a signing he has been!