Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool will take their two remaining Champions League group games seriously after they secured a place in the knockout stages in record time.
The Reds made it four wins from four in the group stages of Europe’s elite competition for the first time in their history as they beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Anfield on Wednesday.
That result means they are guaranteed to progress to the next round as group winners regardless of the outcome of upcoming fixtures against Porto and Milan, but Klopp has suggested he will still take both very seriously.
“You earn a lot of money if you win Champions League games – not me personally, it’s just for the club it’s important. That’s what we will do,” Klopp said during the post-game news conference.
“Of course, the first target was to get through this group and getting through the group with 12 points after four matches is absolutely insane, to be honest.
“But we did it and now there are two more games to go. One is against Porto and we are Liverpool in a home game, what can we do? Let them play or whatever?
“And then, going to Milan, I’ve never been there. It’s a historical one, so we will show up there as well. That’s the situation.
“But, of course, when I saw the group I didn’t expect that we would be through after four games, but the boys did it and really well deserved.”
Liverpool’s task was made all the easier when Atletico’s Felipe was sent off for a cynical swipe at Sadio Mane during the first half at Anfield.
But Klopp felt he had to substitute the Senegalese himself at the break in order to avoid him receiving a second yellow card.
Explaining the decision, he said: “I really hated the moment when I had to take off Sadio because Sadio played an incredible game. You could see now everybody wants it [the red card].
“My worry was any kind of challenge in the air, where you never know exactly what happens there with the arm, one of them goes down and makes three times a roll over then Sadio’s off and that would have been the wrong thing. I didn’t like it but, in the end, we had to do it.”
Four #UCL group stage wins out of four for the first time ever.
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