Klopp 'not surprised' by Elliott display for Liverpool in win
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp burst out laughing when he saw his side’s tricky Champions League group draw. The Reds are in Group B which has been dubbed this year’s ‘group of death’.
Klopp’s team face tough tests against Atletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan before Christmas.
None of Liverpool’s opponents finished below second in their respective divisions. Atletico topped a tight La Liga table last term, while Porto and AC Milan finished as runners-up in the Portuguese Primera Division and Serie A respectively.
Liverpool qualified for the Champions League thanks to a sensational 10-match unbeaten run at the end of last season.
Klopp had ruled out a top four finish as late as March after Liverpool lost five consecutive home matches. They had not been defeated at Anfield since April 2017.
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But Liverpool then went unbeaten for almost a third of the campaign, despite a devastating injury crisis, to finish third.
Klopp has now reacted to their Champions League draw.
“I laughed, to be honest, pretty loud because it is a tough group obviously,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“It’s Champions League, so that’s how it is, and you have to play the best teams in Europe, and obviously some of them are in our group.
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“We played, I don’t know how often, already against Porto, so they will be waiting for us. We have obviously a little bit of [an] open bill with Atletico, and AC Milan, a historical one obviously.
“So, I think our supporters should be looking forward to it – we do, for sure.
“I know that people sit always at home and think, ‘Ah come on, that would be cool, then you have this team together and the worst of pot four and the worst of pot one’ and all this kind of stuff.
“So, we didn’t get that obviously but we’re still pretty ambitious and would like to show the really hard work from last year, qualifying for the Champions League, that it was worth it.
“That’s how we will play the games.”
Liverpool’s draw is by far the hardest of the four Premier League teams competing in this year’s Champions League.
The other English sides face comparatively easier clashes.
European champions Chelsea will play Juventus, Zenit St. Petersburg and Malmo.
Manchester City were drawn against Paris Saint-Germain, a tie which could see Cristiano Ronaldo play against Lionel Messi if the Portuguese forward completes his rumoured move to the Premier League champions.
Pep Guardiola’s side will also play RB Leipzig and Club Brugge.
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