Beating the best team in the world? Pretty good, says Klopp
Jurgen Klopp delighted in Liverpool's 3-0 thumping of Manchester City at Anfield but is keen not to make Pep Guardiola's side angry ahead of next week's return leg in the all-English Champions League quarter-final.
Liverpool became the only side to beat champions-elect City in the Premier League this season when they stormed to a 4-3 triumph in January and Guardiola's men underwent an even more spectacular Merseyside unravelling on Wednesday.
Mohamed Salah's 38th goal of the season set Liverpool on their way after 11 minutes and, as he did in the league encounter, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain brought the Kop to its feet with a brilliant long-range strike.
Sadio Mane headed in a third after the half-hour as the hosts ran riot but Klopp was keen not to be drawn on his pre-match assertion of City being the best team in the world on current form when speaking in a news conference afterwards.
"We beat the best team in the world, that's a pretty good performance," he said with a knowing grin.
"I don't think about things like that. I have never been part of the best team in the world, but I always knew it is possible to beat them. It is really rare because they are so good.
"With all the things I could say now, like very positive, I make them even more angry. If I answer your questions the way you want me to, Pep only has to put the newspapers in the dressing room and say that's what Klopp said. Then, 'go'. We have to work there again like hell."
"It's about going to the next round, we are not in the next round. Why should I celebrate it?
Another magnificent European night at Anfield.
Let’s make sure we finish the job in Manchester. pic.twitter.com/Tm2DdWaRvJ
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 4, 2018
Klopp cited an experience from his own past to show where any complacency might lead Liverpool.
At the same quarter-final stage in 2013-14, his Borussia Dortmund shipped a 3-0 first-leg defeat to Real Madrid but had the eventual champions hanging on as they won 2-0 at Signal Iduna Park.
"I am too long in the business," he added. "Years ago I played with Dortmund at Real Madrid. We lost 3-0, and everyone said it was done.
"I was really angry about that and at home we won 2-0 with six or seven changes in the team and everyone who saw the game knew we should have won 5-0, 100 per cent.
"It is better than 3-1, better than 1-0 [but] no one was in the dressing room dancing around and celebrating after the half-time result. This leg is about 180 minutes or so."