Liverpool round-up: Champions League draw reaction; Klopp responds to Hoffenheim win; Coutinho to plead for exit
Jurgen Klopp has reacted to Liverpool’s favourable Champions League draw which has pitted the Reds against Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor in Group E. The German told the club website:
“To be part of it is obviously really special. We watched with a few of the lads together. There are groups with Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus and Real Madrid, and not to get them is of course more good than bad… We have to go and prepare. With Sevilla, there is an open bill… Moscow is a long trip. And Maribor, in this moment you don’t know a lot about them; a lot of people would underestimate them, we will not… They all earn our 100 per cent respect, how we earn 100 per cent respect from them. That’s what we will show and hopefully we have a few really good games, which we 100 per cent need.”
Liverpool will face Sevilla for the first time since Europa League final defeat in 2016, whilst they have never before faced Maribor. It will be an intriguing challenge for Klopp and co., but the draw could certainly have been tougher on the Reds.
Liverpool earned their place in the draw by beating Hoffenheim on Wednesday night to secure a 6-3 aggregate win. Jurgen Klopp spoke post-match to reveal the importance of Champions League football as the club website say that he explained what it meant to him by saying:
“Yippee! Everything… what can I say? It’s all that the club, the team, we worked for in the last 14 months. I know you will always find a few people who will say ‘It’s just the Champions League or only the Champions League.’ But we wanted to be part of it with all we have. I saw the boys play a few pieces of outstanding football. How it is in a game like this, especially against an opponent like Hoffenheim, you also have a few problems. That’s how it is. But I’m really happy about the deserved qualification for the group stage.”
The Reds started the game superbly with Emre Can and Mohamed Salah both on the scoresheet as the club raced to a three goal lead within 21 minutes. Two goals were conceded later in the game but Roberto Firmino added a fourth to ensure that it was a comfortable evening for the club.
However, Klopp may have to face a Champions League campaign without one of his key players as Yahoo Sport claim that Philippe Coutinho could go as far as to release a public statement pleading for a move away from Anfield in an attempt to force his club to sell him before the window shuts next weekend.
The report says that he amicably pushed for a deal but his requests were refused, prompting a form transfer request and a decision to stop training. However, the club have so far rejected all three bids that they have received for the Brazilian almost instantly with a deal still someway off.
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