Jurgen Klopp believes his Liverpool side’s 1-1 draw against former club Borussia Dortmund may have surprised some doubters.
Divock Origi, preferred up front to Daniel Sturridge, scored in the first half and despite one of their better defensive performances they could not prevent Mats Hummels equalising in the Europa League quarter-final with a header just after half-time.
Dortmund swept away albeit weakened Premier League title-chasers Tottenham 3-0 in the previous round in the Signal Iduna Park and many observers thought Liverpool would go the same way against one of the most in-form teams in Europe.
But it did not pan out that way at all as Klopp’s game-plan worked almost perfectly.
“I’m pretty sure a lot of people thought we would lose 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0 but at some moments we had Dortmund and around our goal we were brilliant,” he said.
“I am satisfied with a lot of parts of the game, the organisation was good, we were brave, organised disciplined, everything good.
“I think we saw the game is still 50:50 and Dortmund don’t care too much about where they are playing or where they score a goal.
“They are still a very strong team but people thought a lot about our possible performance so they are perhaps a little surprised now.
“An away goal is really good, 100 per cent better than a 0-0.”
Meanwhile, Origi fully justified Klopp’s decision to include him at the expense of Sturridge but the Reds boss said it was a fairly straightforward decision which fitted his game-plan.
“I don’t really understand questions like this because you have to try to imagine where you can have some small advantages and that’s what we did – it was nothing about Daniel,” he added.
“He has played the last games, it is completely normal. I know people say things about me taking him from the pitch after 60 minutes but it is completely normal and now he is fresh for the game against Stoke.
“When Daniel came on he immediately had a brilliant moment, it was outstanding, so you could see the impact he had and I cannot say we played better with Divock ahead of Daniel.
“It was not too brave to put Divock to be honest. He has had no rhythm because of injuries. He is a young lad and we have to work with him.
“Divock was made for this game with the space he can make and how he can hold the ball.”