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3 key things from Klopp’s post-Benfica press conference with Diogo Jota ‘knock’

Jurgen Klopp looked ahead to a “tough, tough, tough” semi-final against Villarreal after Liverpool’s 6-4 aggregate win over Benfica in the Champions League.

Here are three key points we took from Klopp’s post-match press conference…

 

Huge praise for Emery

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - AUGUST 11: Gerard Moreno of Villarreal celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the UEFA Super Cup 2021 match between Chelsea FC and Villarreal CF at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on August 11, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Lukas Schulze - © UEFA)

Unai Emery endured a tough time in England, but his return to Spain with Villarreal has seen him restore his reputation as the master of the European cup competition.

This time, he has led Villarreal to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 16 years – and Klopp was full of praise for Liverpool’s next opponents.

“[It will be] tough, tough, tough. Both games [against Bayern], Villarreal deserved to get through,” he said.

“I didn’t analyse them, because you watch the game and try to figure out both teams with real quality.

“Villarreal probably has the most successful cup competition manager in world football, so he knows what he’s doing.”

 

A knock for Jota, but no more

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 13, 2022: Liverpool players line-up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Given the intensity of the schedule, every game of late has seen Klopp ring the changes, while afterwards he is left hoping for no injury problems.

As it stands, Liverpool should head into Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Man City with a fully fit squad, with Klopp allaying concerns over Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.

“He’s not injured,” the manager said of Van Dijk, later adding: “I changed with two physios, nobody said to me Mo has a problem.”

And while Klopp confirmed that “Diogo got a knock in the first half,” he insisted that “everybody should be fine.”

 

A sign he’s not on his way out yet!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 13, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are into their third Champions League semi-final in five years, and are battling for their fourth major European final since Klopp took over in 2015.

It is still a moment to savour for the manager, who jokingly gave an update on his job situation as he explained that he was “over the moon” to progress.

“The day when I’m not over the moon about qualifying for the Champions League semi-final, then someone is really wrong,” he said.

“Maybe that would be the right time just to quit.”

Klopp added: “It would never happen that I would take something like this for granted.”

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