Jurgen Klopp spoke proudly of his team’s focus and resilience after Borussia Dortmund defeated Ajax 1-0 on Tuesday.
A late Robert Lewandowski goal got Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League campaign off to the best possible start.
The German champions controlled the second half and their probing was eventually rewarded, to the relief of their coach.
“It was an amazing and very intense match,” Klopp told reporters.
“We defended well for 90 minutes and created opportunities again. The team has been progressing for a while and we are continuously developing.
“There are still a few things we can do much better but we are very satisfied and will continue working.”
Ajax coach Frank de Boer blamed his players for not taking their chances.
“We had most of the possession. Of course they were dangerous at certain times, but so were we,” he said.
“We had the chances to score one, two or even three goals. I said before the match we had to play according to our style and that is what we did.
“Therefore it is especially disappointing that we gave it away three minutes from time. We can be proud of the way we played, but we failed to take the lead.
“Against this type of team you can’t afford to do that because you are then presented with the bill at the end.”
Dortmund travel to Eastlands to face Manchester City in the next round of Champions League fixtures, while Ajax host Group C leaders Real Madrid.