Liverpool were due to face Red Bull Salzburg in the last 16 of the Champions League… but now face a tricky tie against Inter Milan following a re-draw by UEFA
The Reds were initially drawn against Red Bull Salzburg but will now face the Italian champions in following a re-draw.
UEFA scrapped their original last-16 ties after a mixing-up involving Manchester United after they were mistakenly pitted against Villarreal, who they faced in the group stage.
The rules don’t allow for such a tie to unfold so Manchester City were drawn instead, but United were them omitted from Atletico Madrid’s possible opponents before being given a tricky tie with Paris Saint-Germain.
Atletico were also handed a difficult two-legged affair with Bayern Munich and UEFA decided it was unfair for a “technical problem” to impact the draw.
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And Klopp was keen to highlight the player when asked about Inter’s quality by Liverpool’s website on Monday afternoon – as well as warning his side to be wary of Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez.
“Yes, obviously Sanchez and Dzeko we know well – and Lautaro Martinez is one of the most exciting strikers in the world, probably,” said the German.
“Simone Inzaghi [the manager] is there, his first year, last year they were champions, but it is the Liverpool way – it’s never easy, but still possible, so let’s give it a go.
“It’s a proper Champions League tie, so all good and I am absolutely looking forward to it.”
When asked if it was the correct decision to redo the draw, Klopp replied: “Definitely.
“I saw it live and I thought, ‘You cannot let it stand like this, there’s no chance.’ Definitely, they had to do it again.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who’s side will now face Sporting Lisbon rather than Villarreal, agreed with Klopp.
“It’s going to happen again, I think that’s fair.” said Guardiola before the redraw. “It was a mistake.
“These kinds of things sometimes happen, especially the players and managers, so sometimes UEFA too. We are going to wait.
“Like I always said I am more than satisfied to be a part of that. I think it makes sense [re-draw]. So there are no suspicions.
Inter via Getty Images)
“All the opponents are tough. Some say one is better than the other but all are difficult.”
Liverpool have already knocked out Inter’s rivals AC Milan from this season’s Champions League after beating them twice in the group stage.
And Klopp is looking forward to heading back to the San Siro. “I had to wait 54 years to play at the San Siro for the first time,” he revealed.
“And now it’ll be twice in three months, so that’s good news! All good. Of course, it is a tough draw, definitely.
“They are the league leaders in Italy; a good team in a good moment. We will see how things go until we meet in February.”