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Liverpool's Europe progression 'no surprise' - Klopp

Klopp's side are into the Champions League quarter-finals. Credit: PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists it should surprise no one his side are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

A goalless draw at home to Porto confirmed Liverpool's place in the last eight - their first for nine years - which was already virtually guaranteed after their 5-0 first-leg victory last month.

Heading into this round of matches Klopp's side were the competition's top scorers with 28 goals and he believes that has already proved they can compete on their return after a three-year absence.

"It should not be a big surprise," he said. "I never had a time schedule in my mind where I thought 'we have to be there and then have to be there'.

"Actually, I don't want to make it smaller than it is, but on the other side I don't want to make it bigger than it is.

"This year we belong there, to be honest. Next round will be very difficult, that is clear. There will be seven other very good teams, maybe another four from England which does not make it easier.

"I think we will have a chance, for sure, to get through to the semis and that of course is the target."



Liverpool boss Klopp heaps praise on 'fantastic' Firmino

Jurgen Klopp has always rated Roberto Firmino. Credit: PA

Liverpool's sale of Philippe Coutinho may not prove to be as damaging as their critics suggested if fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino maintains his current form.

Much was made of the loss of Coutinho to Barcelona but the numbers being generated by his compatriot may mean the Reds move on quicker from that £142million sale than anyone anticipated.

Firmino has long been a favourite of manager Jurgen Klopp because of his hard running and ability to press at the head of the attack and despite initial criticism he was not a centre-forward, the 26-year-old is also delivering where it matters.

His goal in an outstanding performance against Manchester City last weekend took his tally for the season to 17, 10 of which have come in the Premier League.

In 88 league appearances since his £29million move from Hoffenheim in the summer of 2015, Firmino has scored 31 times and provided 19 assists.

He is only 11 goals short of becoming the Premier League's highest-scoring Brazilian - a record currently held by Coutinho who managed 41 in 152 (with 35 assists) albeit from a deeper position.

In the space of a few weeks a wider audience has become more aware of Firmino's qualities but the praise now being heaped on the forward does not surprise Klopp.

"I don't think that it's possible that somebody could get more credit, compliments, praise, whatever you want to say as Roberto gets from us," said the Reds boss ahead of Monday's trip to bottom side Swansea.

"But it's well deserved - everything. He's a fantastic football player.

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