Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum hails ‘big night for England’

Georginio Wijnaldum believes Liverpool’s progress in the Champions League at the expense of Bayern Munich represents a “good night for English football”.

After a goalless first leg, two goals from Sadio Mane and one from Virgil van Dijk meant a Joel Matip own goal was rendered inconsequential in a 3-1 victory at the Allianz Arena.

“It’s a really big night, not only for Liverpool but I think for England,” said midfielder Wijnaldum.

“All of the teams have gone through to the next round, and for us of course it was really good because we managed to win an away game at Bayern Munich – which is quite difficult.

“I feel like we’ve taken a really big step, because a lot of people said after the first match that it was not a good result to play a 0-0, but we had a good feeling about it because we didn’t concede a goal.

“We know the way we’re playing, we can always create chances so we were quite confident we would create chances here and score goals. That says something about the team itself.

“A lot of teams struggle here to get a result, but we still did it. We have a lot of confidence but we also work hard to bring things together in a good way.”

The result ended a run of five successive Champions League defeats – including the final last May – away from Anfield and maintained Klopp’s record of never having lost any of the nine two-legged European ties he has overseen as Liverpool manager in Europe.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac, whose side went top of the Bundesliga at the weekend after scoring 13 goals in their last two matches, could only praise their opponents.

“You saw after the second goal how much quality they have,” the Croatian said.

“We still have two titles to fight for. We’re top in the Bundesliga and we’re still in the cup. Our goal is to win both of these competitions.”

Defender Mats Hummels, formerly coached by Klopp when the pair were at Borussia Dortmund together, was also gracious in defeat.

“I know Jurgen Klopp and he is very good at eliminating the opponents’ strengths and he showed that again today,” he said.

“The 1-2 took away our belief. After that Liverpool was the better team. Still this was not a great game of football.”

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