Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool are more than capable of matching Europe’s best in the Champions League – after hpinpointing the one victory that proves their abilities.
Wednesday’s last-16 first leg tie in Porto is the Reds’ first in the knockout stage of Europe’s elite club competition since 2009.
But despite having comfortably won their group with three wins and three draws, scoring 23 goals – a record for an English club – doubts persist about their ability to go deep into the competition.
However, Klopp points to last month’s thrilling 4-3 win over runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City as all the evidence he needs to believe in their quality.
“I know it already we can compete with them, I don’t have to look at them,” Klopp said.
“I think probably the strongest football team in this moment in Europe is Manchester City and we played them twice already at the highest level (they lost the first encounter 5-0 after having Sadio Mane sent off in the first half).
“The Premier League is a little different but if we meet them (City) then we could beat them. That is how it is.
“But it is not important right now. We are in Porto and that is the only thing.
“We can make one mistake, that is how it is in life. And of course we as a team we will never do that.”
The team have already overcome one significant hurdle in reaching the knockout phase for the first time in nine years.
And they did it in style with two 7-0 victories helping them rack up the second-highest tally of group game goals in the history of the competition behind Paris St Germain, who scored 25 this season.
“Yes the last-16 in the Champions League is quite a message already,” he said.
“In other competitions it doesn’t sound too good but here, it is already a message.
“But now we have to show that we are not only part of the competition, we are quite ambitious. That is how it is and we have to take it seriously.”
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