Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his side will not fly through their Europa League group after a battling win over LASK Linz.
WHAT HAPPENED? The Reds came from behind to secure a 3-1 victory in Austria in their Europa League opener on Thursday. Florian Flecker's stunning strike gave the hosts the lead on 19 minutes but second-half goals from Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, and Mohamed Salah sealed the three points. Although Klopp's men are one of the favourites to win this competition, the German stressed they cannot take the tournament lightly.
WHAT THEY SAID: «I know how the world is and I know that people expect us to fly through this competition. It will not happen. It will not happen in the group stage, it will not happen in the knockout stage. It will not happen,» he told reporters.
«We have to dig into it and that’s what we did. It was a massive learning curve tonight, the opponent suffered much less from the pitch than we did, which is a little bit normal because we had the ball more often. But besides that we had to get used to it. So we can learn so much.»
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Klopp made 11 changes to the Liverpool team that started against Wolves in their previous match and the impact of those changes were felt as LASK outplayed the visitors in the first half. While they came back to win, the Reds needed their key players to get them over the line. Liverpool's priority may be to win the Premier League or at least qualify for the Champions League this season, but a deep Europa League run could be an enticing prospect.
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WHAT NEXT? Liverpool take on West Ham, who beat Backa Topola 3-1 in the Europa League, in the Premier League on Sunday.Read on goal.com