Jürgen Klopp on Spartak success, Reds' front four and Moreno injury

Jürgen Klopp praised Liverpool’s mentality as they roared into the last 16 of the Champions League with a resounding 7-0 triumph over Spartak Moscow at Anfield on Wednesday night.

The Reds made certain of a first-place finish in Group E as they swept their Russian opponents aside with an awesome display of attacking football.

Philippe Coutinho struck twice and Roberto Firmino was also on target in an explosive opening 18 minutes to set Liverpool on their way to qualification.

Coutinho completed his hat-trick after the break on the night he wore the captain’s armband for the Reds, while Sadio Mane helped himself to a brace and Mohamed Salah rounded off the scoring with goal No.18 of his season so far.

It means Liverpool will take their place in Monday’s next-round draw – and afterwards, Klopp was left to savour the performance of his side.

Read on for a summary of the manager’s post-match press conference…

On whether it was an ‘easy game’ for Liverpool…

No, it was not easy. It was not easy. With my assistants, I was sitting outside when it was 6-0 and we were looking at each other and thought, ‘wow, how did that happen?’ I didn’t see a lot of teams losing 7-0, but even when it was 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0 they still played football, they still had their moments, they still had scoring situations somehow. We had to play exactly the level we played tonight to beat them and then because of the development of the game it was a high result.

On whether winning 7-0 twice in the group stages was a reflection on the standard of opposition…

Actually all the games were related to our quality because we scored seven against Maribor and they drew tonight at the same place against Sevilla, who are obviously a very strong side. I love in sport when you really respect the performance of the better team. We were the better team tonight, obviously, but it had nothing to do with any non-existing qualities of Moscow - they are really strong, they have had a good run in the league, they won the last I don’t know how many games and still have a chance to qualify again for the Champions League again in Russia. It was about us in the games. I said it before the game, we deserved this final with all the good performances and the not-that-good results. We were ready tonight and I am really happy for them, that’s cool.

On the impact of finishing top of Group E…

Before the game, we knew if we won we would be top of the group, so that’s not the biggest surprise. I think it’s really strange this year in the different groups – there are a lot of really strong teams. In the last 16 of the Champions League there are only strong sides, but this year it’s quite special; I don’t think it’s very often you can face Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the last 16 if you win the group. And Juve! And all the others! That’s quite interesting. Antonio Conte said it yesterday, there are no easy opponents in it. I don’t think anybody is happy when they get us when they get us in the draw, so we will not be happy in the moment when we see who we will face in the next round, but we will be ready – that’s for sure.

On a good performance ahead of the derby at the weekend…

We had a little shadow on the night when Alberto Moreno needed to get substituted. It was a strange situation. He is a tough guy and if he cannot continue the game then you should consider it could be something serious. In the treatment room then, he was a little bit more positive, so maybe we are lucky and it’s not too serious. We will see. We need all the boys, we need all the boys for the next few weeks, but especially in this week for the next game on Sunday. We showed tonight that we learned from the mistakes we made in Sevilla – now we have to show we have learned from the mistakes after Maribor when we faced Tottenham. We will be ready again on Sunday and if the crowd is ready to help us it would be nice again.

On how he compares tonight’s performance level to others as Liverpool boss…

One of the better ones! No, I don’t care to be honest. I can easily enjoy a game like this without thinking about when did I see a game like this already. It was not often the case of course, but that’s for me not too important. After 3-0, there was a little moment - they are human beings and that’s normal – and you saw immediately what happens if you play a little bit less compact, how good they can be. We came out after half-time and scored again, fantastic goals – unbelievably nice goals. This is a moment and we should not think it will be like this from now on until the end of our entire lives. There will be difficult moments, but for tonight it was nice.

On England having five teams in the Champions League knockout stages...

I could not be less interested to be honest in the other teams but it is [about] quality I think. All the teams in the Champions League have really strong squads, so we will see where this will lead to. But it's a fact: English football has top quality and I don’t know why it didn’t happen in the last few years but it was never possible before that five teams could go through so that makes it interesting as well. I don't think there are a lot of options for all the English teams to face in the next round, maybe [it's] four or five teams only that we can get. It's good news for English football but I think there was a lot of good news for English football in the last few weeks and months with all the youth teams winning different World and European Cups. That's a normal development but I am not sure it will be like this for the next 15-20 years.

On whether Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane give LFC a fear factor in the Champions League...

If we perform like this tonight in these moments, if we are as clinical as tonight, but had with the same players situations where we didn’t score. It’s not a criticism but the past. If they perform like this then obviously 100 per cent [they are a threat]. If you see how Dom Solanke performing against Stoke, and if you see then how Daniel Sturridge performed when he came on tonight, he could have scored two or three and made the goal with a fantastic pass for Sadio. I could have made three or four different line-ups only in midfield! If Alberto is out for a few games - I don't know - then of course we have Robbo and we have Millie, that's all good, but we need all the players, we need freshness. I can imagine tomorrow, somebody will make a story [about] Jordan Henderson, the captain, was not involved. I have to make hard decisions and tonight it was like this; Hendo will play the next game, 100 per cent, and he could have started tonight but we had to make a decision. Then, when it works, everything is good. Then, if it's not, you write it the other way around. That's how life is.

On the formation he deployed...

We [didn't have] three strikers with Coutinho behind - that was the BT line-up before the game, we played 4-4-1-1. They were proper midfielders tonight, they had to play as midfielders and defend, Phil and Sadio. That’s why we changed the system, we wanted to have a clear structure. We have Roberto running everywhere and Mo between the lines, that was the idea. I thought, and I said it before the game, that I thought the best way not to lose was to win. That’s what we tried. If you try to do it in a very deep defending way with counter-attacking opportunities it can work as well. We tried it this way and I don’t think the Champions League is easier than the Premier League. Of course, the weekend will be different already. We will have the ball much more at the weekend, for sure, but it’s not too offensive, it’s not too defensive. The approach is not the thing, it's what we do with it.

Watch the Reds in the last 16 in style: matchday hospitality packages are on sale now at hospitality.liverpoolfc.com.