Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted that his side ‘got what they deserved’ when the beat Napoli 1-0 at Anfield for a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Liverpool knew that a 1-0 win, or a victory by two goals or more, would be enough to seal a top-two spot in Group C, and Mohamed Salah was again the hero for the hosts, scoring what proved to be the winner with a magical individual burst in the 34th minute.
The Reds had plenty of chances to add to their lead and Napoli pressed for a leveller in the second half, with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson denying Arkadiusz Milik in stoppage time with a superb save, but the home side's resolute defence stood firm to the intense relief of the home fans.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport afterwards, the Anfield boss was full of praise for his side and the manner in which they went about their business.
"I said before the game if nothing strange happens and I don’t want to criticise the referee before the game, and I said if there’s no strange decision you get what you deserve," he said.
"Tonight the boys deserved to go in the next round, I really think there’s no doubt about that against an unbelievably strong side in Napoli.
"We defended, we would have defended tonight everything – the English border probably! So it was just outstanding, I really loved that."
Klopp and Liverpool have little time to rest on their laurels as a weekend clash with Manchester United in the Premier League is next for the Reds.
While the Liverpool manager is trying to take time to savour his side’s victory over Napoli he admits that there’s little time to do so with the games coming thick and fast at this time of the year.
"The good thing now is that we have three or four days to recover but of course it will be a big challenge, but not for tonight," he said. "Tonight I don’t think tonight about that game.
"Hopefully the boys all came through, I didn’t really ask the boys, they all looked exhausted but fine apart from Trent [Alexander-Arnold] who had pain but hopefully that’s nothing serious.
"We have to make sure we will be ready again for the next special game at Anfield.
"So far, so okay but there’s a lot of work to do and after Man United unfortunately it will not end so the next will be waiting at Wolverhampton.
"For tonight I’m absolutely proud of what the boys did tonight and the whole package. This is Anfield at it’s best, I love it!"