Jurgen Klopp praised Philippe Coutinho and said it “was Liverpool against David De Gea” on Thursday evening.
Speaking after the game, Klopp praised the goalscorer Coutinho, whose excellent individual strike on the stroke of half-time effectively killed the tie.
“It was nice and intense,” Klopp said. “You could feel the atmosphere again. They tried to play really offensive but we had our chances, it was Liverpool v De Gea. He was unbelievable again. We scored an unbelievable situation. Fantastic. The game changed. He [Coutinho] is a young lad still but he thinks about it. It was a perfect game and Philippe’s goal a genius moment.
“They were really direct with long balls to [Marouane] Fellaini and it was hard to react. We had a few problems in the first half, they won too many second balls but when we got the ball and used the time we had, and we often had more time then we thought, we created big chances. But De Gea had another good night in what has been a successful career.
“They got a penalty, I thought it was a penalty. I was very happy in the minutes before half-time because twice we reacted quicker than the opponent. Phil produced his brilliant moment and of course it decided the game.
“On the working-side it was one of the best I have seen from Phil, just like the Manchester City game,” said Klopp, comparing it to the 4-1 victory over City in November. “He had a moment when his touch wasn’t too good from a perfect pass but he has to trust himself more with that quality.”