Anfield was empty, the Liverpool team depleted by injury and it was hardly a vintage performance but the 1-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday still left manager Juergen Klopp bursting with pride.
“Honestly since I was at Liverpool that feels like one of the biggest Champions League nights. Without supporters in, it was the most important, most difficult, most exceptional,” he said.
“With the circumstances, there hasn’t been much to smile about, it’s been tricky, and the boys throw themselves into the game,” said the German after his side secured top spot in Group D.
“Robbo (Andy Robertson) has a proper knock on the ankle and pushes himself through, Hendo (Jordan Henderson) with a sore back, Gini (Wijnaldum) — I have no words for him. Curtis Jones, what a game, It’s amazing, I’m really proud.”
The 19-year-old Jones got the second-half winner and was one of the brightest players in the midfield battle.
“Curtis is a really good kid, a good player and I am happy to have him around. Sometimes with injuries there is always an opportunity and he has taken it,” he said.
Klopp had another injury headache to contend with before the game, with keeper Alisson Becker ruled out with a hamstring strain, and Irish Under-21 keeper Caoimhin Kelleher was picked ahead of the more experience Adrian.
Reuters | LIVERPOOL, England