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    • Virgil Van Dijk says Liverpool were prepared for a stern test of their credentials when they came up against the free-flowing RB Salzburg side on Tuesday night.

      After surviving a storming fight back from the Austrian outfit in their game at Anfield two months ago, they knew that they were facing a team who do not fear anyone.

      Speaking after the game to the Official site after the 2-0 victory which sealed Liverpool’s passage to the knockout stages, Van Dijk was proud with the way his team came through.

      “We had to be ready - and ready for a very tough night because they are a good side.

      “They play a little bit similar to what we try to do, direct and try to get in behind the defence and stretch them. They did well.

      “We had to be ready and we dealt with it and then obviously at the end of the first half we had the opportunities to score for 1-0, maybe 2-0 with Naby but unfortunately we didn't do that.

      “In the second half we were very mature and played a great second half."

      Despite the scores locked at 0-0 at the half time interval, it was a first half full of captivating and free flowing Football.

      With the game still on a knife-edge, Van Dijk said it was all about showing their quality when it truly mattered.

      “The belief is always there but you have to show how much you really want it.

      "I think especially the second half we can look back good on. 

      “The goals we scored were very good, the whole second half I think everyone looked comfortable.

      “Obviously at times they broke on us and that's the quality they have as well and you have to give them credit for that, too, and we dealt with it pretty well."  

      Van Dijk was clearly delighted for Naby Keita who opened the scoring against his former side and hoped it was the start of something special for the 24 year-old midfielder.

      "It was a big night for him and I'm very happy for him to be that important and hopefully he can keep being important like the rest of the boys.

      “He's a very good player and we all can see that and today he showed it with the goal as well."

      The talismanic defender poked fun at the profligacy of Mo Salah on the evening, saying it was all part of his plan to keep the fans on the edge of their seats.

      “He could have made it a little bit easier for us tonight!   "I told him that as well, that he tried to make it a little bit more excited for the crowd maybe.

      “He missed a chance in the first half, a big one, but you see his goal in the second half and that's the quality he has got, like the rest of the players.

      But Van Dijk saved his highest praise for his captain in Jordan Henderson.

      He is a fantastic player, a fantastic captain and everyone is looking up to him and he is very important for us,"

      “Like him, we have everyone that we need, and today he was very important with the assist and also in the game as well."



       
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    • I didn't mean to put Everton  I meant arsenal 
    • Jürgen Klopp has hailed the resilience and intelligence of his side after Liverpool passed a searching test against RB Salzburg on Tuesday.

      Two goals in as many minutes just before the hour mark by Naby Keita and a brilliant Mo Salah finish were enough for the Reds to progress to the knockout stages.

      While the result may look routine in the record books in the years ahead, it was anything but as the visitors had to be at their defensive best to keep a clean sheet against their high octane opponents.

      What would have undoubtedly impressed Klopp the most was that his side were able to get the job done once again in a pressurised situation.

      A loss in this fixture would have meant Europa League duty, which would have been a massive blow to confidence within the squad.

      But the mentality that this team has been built upon came to the fore and Klopp told the assembled media pack afterwards about the pride he felt, as well as paying a glowing tribute to their opponents.   The Mirror reported the manager as saying:

      “I couldn't have more respect for what Salzburg are doing.   "You see how good they are, how good they were in the first game, how good they were against Napoli.

      “You could come here as current Champions League winners and misunderstand it.   "But my team is so smart, and I really love it that they listen and put a shift in like that.

      “ Salzburg were unbelievably strong especially in the first half but we were as well and were ready for the fight. 

      “We should have scored in the first half and then in the second half, it's not easy to keep that intensity but we scored the goals.”

      Salah had what you could describe as a mixed evening at the office.

      He was unusually wasteful in front of goal, but made up for that with a goal from an incredibly acute angle which only the very best of players could even contemplate of scoring.  

      "How do I explain it? Thank God I don't have to! It was for sure the most difficult situation he had tonight.

      “He played really well but didn't score in the situations we expect him to score, staying on track and making such a decisive but difficult finish says probably much more about him than all the other goals he scored.

      “He stayed concentrated, believed in the next moment and it was a very, very good goal. A sensational finish.”


       
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    • "Flounder?? I can't even catch her!!"
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