Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Liverpool win 3-0, look to finish City

NOT OVER YET:Klopp said his team would have to be ready for anything in the second leg, keeping in mind a 5-0 drubbing in their only other meeting at the Etihad


Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, center, shoots in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City at Anfield in Liverpool, England, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said his side would still have to “work like hell” to reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, despite securing a commanding 3-0 quarter-final first-leg lead over runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

City lead Liverpool by 18 points in the Premier League, but their only league defeat this season came in a 4-3 thriller at Anfield in January, and they suffered an even worse fate on Wednesday to leave their hopes of winning the European Cup for a first time hanging by a thread.

Just as in the January meeting, prolific Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane were on target for the hosts.

“We beat the best team in the world, so that’s a really good performance,” Klopp said. “It was good tonight, but I am not interested in being good. In this competition it is about going to the next round, and we are not in the next round. Let’s talk about it after the next game.”

“We will really have to work there again like hell,” he added.

Klopp’s caution is born out of the fact that City thrashed 10-man Liverpool 5-0 in their only previous meeting at the Etihad this season.

“We conceded there already five. How can I say it is not possible?” Klopp said.

City boss Pep Guardiola insisted he still believed, despite his side’s most comprehensive defeat of the campaign.

“I think in this room there is nobody except the guy talking to you who believes we are going to go through,” Guardiola said. “Tomorrow we are going to try to convince ourselves that in six days it is 90 minutes more and we are going to try.”

Liverpool’s night was slightly marred when Salah limped off with an injury early in the second half.

“After the game he said: ‘I will be good, I will be fine,’ but now we have to wait for the real diagnosis,” Klopp said of his Egyptian star’s fitness.

City could already be crowned English champions by the time the sides meet again for the second leg next week, should they beat local rivals Manchester United tomorrow.

Guardiola’s side have been in stunning form for the large majority of the season, but he lamented a poor 20-minute period in the first half that has likely cost them a shot at European glory.

“The result is tough, but I don’t have feeling we played to concede that result,” Guardiola said. “But in this competition [what happens] in the boxes makes all the difference and they were so good in those situations.”

City were well aware of the cauldron they were facing from the start, as their team bus was battered by bottles and cans on their arrival at Anfield.

Klopp was quick to apologize in a strongly worded statement condemning the actions of Liverpool’s supporters.

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