Heading into the second leg of Liverpool’s Europa League Round of 32 tie with FC Augsburg, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was quite frank in his admission that the German side could cause an upset and knock the Anfield outfit out of the competition. An early goal from James Milner kept that from becoming a reality, but the victory was a very narrow one.
“It was a very tough game and they showed their determination to play and also made it difficult for us to play against them,” said Klopp in his post-match presser, full of praise for the visitors. “They took risks and defended very well. If you look at it overall and the work Markus [Weinzierl] has done, he has got a great team and done really well – particularly given the injuries they’ve had,” continued the Liverpool boss. “But it’s less important what we think about them, I think it’s important for FC Augsburg to feel very proud tonight.”
Video courtesy of The Reds
The second leg played out much like the first with both sides creating chances, but having problems putting them away. While the clean sheet bodes well for the Reds heading into the League Cup final with Manchester City on Sunday, their problems in front of the net remain a major concern — though Klopp isn’t about to draw any parallels between this match and the one that awaits at the weekend.
“It’s better than if we’d had a defeat and been knocked out,” mused the German when the obvious question of how this result might affect the team’s performance against the Citizens. “Tonight’s game is different and not relevant to Sunday, but obviously the team has benefited from a good performance and gained confidence, although you could say the same for Manchester City in Kiev last night,” continued Klopp. “We’ll try our hardest to produce a good performance on Sunday.”