Wednesday, 20 Mar 2019

Sadio Mané and Virgil van Dijk take Liverpool past Bayern Munich

It was a night when Liverpool reminded themselves why a banner can be seen at their games to proclaim “European football royalty”. And, finally, when the action was over, Jürgen Klopp was running across the pitch to pump his fists towards the Liverpool supporters in the highest tier of this spectacular stadium. His players could celebrate a hugely satisfying night of mature and controlled football and, for the first time since 2009, the Premier League had four teams in the quarter-finals.

Not that Liverpool’s euphoria at the final whistle was, in any way, on behalf of the other English sides who will make up half of Friday’s draw. Liverpool have their own priorities, as five-times winners of this competition, and it is not often that Bayern are made to look so ordinary, especially on their own ground. Yes, the evidence is irrefutable that Bayern are on the wane, epitomised by the deterioration in the once-formidable Franck Ribéry, and that the 28-times Bundesliga champions might have gone stale, perhaps as a consequence of all their repetitive domestic success. Yet that should not deflect from Liverpool’s performance on a night when Klopp’s players defended stoutly, were clinical with their chances and, more than anything, never showed a flicker of trepidation.

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