Sunday 17 February 2019

Lovren: Players couldn't hear each other

Dejan Lovren. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Dejan Lovren. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Mark Critchley

Dejan Lovren has revealed that Liverpool players struggled to hear each other during Wednesday's thrilling victory over Manchester City, so loud was the noise inside Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side took a major step towards the Champions League semi-finals with an emphatic 3-0 win over City, with Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mané all scoring in the first half hour.

Lovren then played his part in an impressive defensive display as Liverpool preserved their clean sheet for the next 60 minutes and prevented City from registering a single shot on target.

Speaking after the final whistle, the Croatian hailed the Anfield crowd for playing their part in the victory.

"I think [it was] the best atmosphere from the first time I came here," he said. "I saw from the first minute to the last minute they didn't sit down, I think, on their chairs. It was amazing. We couldn't hear ourselves always. It was a massive point to have them."

Lovren even rated Wednesday's atmosphere above that seen at the 4-3 Europa League victory over Borussia Dortmund in 2016, a game won by his own stoppage-time header.

Read more: Oxlade-Chamberlain silences doubters for sweet redemption

"I can only remember now how I felt after the goal [against Dortmund] but this is different," the 28-year-old added. "This is Champions League."

Given City's failure to score an away goal on Wednesday, Liverpool will travel to the Etihad next week knowing that if they can score one of their own, City will need to breach their defence at least five times in order to progress. Lovren could not help but acknowledge the position of strength that the result puts Liverpool in, but preached caution ahead of next Tuesday's second leg.

Several members of Klopp's squad are nursing injuries and captain Jordan Henderson will be suspended after picking up a late yellow, his third in this season's competition.

"It's a brilliant result. In football you can never know. You relax and in one second it causes pressure," Lovren said. "Against Man City they have the quality to score when they want and today they didn't. It was crucial." (© Independent Service, London)

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