Liverpool will take a two-goal lead into the Champions League quarter-final second leg at Anfield but Jurgen Klopp thinks his side could have defended better against Benfica.
Premier League side Liverpool will have a healthy advantage when they welcome Benfica in the second leg next Wednesday when they face Benfica again in the second leg.
This comes with a potential title-decider in the Premier League against Manchester City on one side and an FA Cup semi-final also against City on the other.
They have enough of an advantage, too, that they might even be able to rest and rotate a few key players next Wednesday and put more of their focus on the two City games, but without letting their focus drop against Benfica.
“We came here for a result,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp noted. "I didn’t expect the game being any easier. Benfica really fought for their lives. It was clear when they scored that the crowd will be back and the atmosphere was really, really good."
“And good football teams tend to use that. But we could calm them down immediately a little bit with the three changes, and I think it helped. The other boys worked really hard but it was helpful that we could bring fresh legs.”
“We scored the third one and I think everybody agrees we could have scored more goals, maybe should have,” Klopp added. “It’s half-time, we are two goals up. Now they have to come to Anfield and we have to use that.”
This was a near-perfect start to a mammoth run of games for Liverpool that will define their season, with the return leg sandwiched between Sunday's game at Premier League leaders Manchester City and an FA Cup semi-final against Pep Guardiola's side six days later.
The Reds are chasing a historic quadruple and have already won the Carabao Cup this year, despite Klopp saying four trophies is not a realistic target and insisting winning just one other competition this term would be "outstanding".
Klopp's attention will now switch to a huge game against City in the race for the Premier League title. (BBC Sport)