Liverpool end long wait for last eight

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted the Champions League quarterfinals is where his side belong after ending a nine-year wait to reach the last eight on Tuesday.
Despite settling for a goalless draw in an uninspiring last 16, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool eased past Porto 5-0 on aggregate thanks to a comprehensive win in Portugal three weeks ago.
“It feels really good,” said Klopp, who is only in his second full season in charge. “I think this year we belong there to be honest, it should not be a big surprise
“The next round will be difficult, seven other very good teams, maybe four of them are from England, which doesn’t make it easier.
“I think we will have a chance for sure to go to the semis. We’ll take it step-by-step and tonight it is cool.”
With the job done in Portugal, Klopp could even afford the luxury of starting top-scorer Mohamed Salah and club-record signing Virgil van Dijk on the bench with one eye on Saturday’s vital visit to Manchester United in the Premier League.
“Now we can prepare for the Manchester game. I’m looking forward to it,” added Klopp.
Liverpool have made a habit of fast starts in Europe this season, but took time to warm to their task with the German having made five changes in all from the side that beat Newcastle at the weekend.
It took 17 minutes for the hosts to threaten when Joe Gomez’s cross was acrobatically flicked towards goal by Mane, but looped just over the bar.
“Probably if you draw away and then win at home it feels maybe different,” continued Klopp.
Casillas was given a standing ovation by the Liverpool fans in the Kop end as he took to the field after the break on his record 167th and possible farewell appearance in the Champions League. — AFP