Brendan Rodgers hailed the determination and spirit of his young Liverpool squad after they secured progress into the knockout stage of the Europa League with a 1-0 victory over Udinese in Italy.
Jordan Henderson's first-half goal clinched three points for the Reds and top spot in Group A after Young Boys defeated Anzhi 3-1 in Switzerland.
It means Liverpool's European adventure will continue into 2013 - and Rodgers was full of praise for the efforts of his players, not just at the Stadio Friuli but throughout the tournament as a whole.
He told his post-match press conference in Italy: "I thought we were fantastic tonight.
"We had two objectives coming into this stage of the tournament. Firstly, tonight was our 10th game in the tournament and qualification was important. Secondly, we wanted to give some experience to our younger players.
"We were in a difficult group with good teams - teams with good Champions League experience and one of the richest teams in the world.
"But the mentality of the team was very strong and our desire and belief was very strong. We won and that is good for our future."
Henderson's goal capped a fine individual performance from the midfielder.
Rodgers believes Liverpool are reaping the rewards of the 22-year-old's hard work and dedication on the Melwood training pitches.
The boss said: "His industry tonight was superb. He is a great lad. He works very, very hard and he's come in over the last month or so and made a good contribution to the team.
"He was unfortunate not to get a second goal - the 'keeper made a wonderful save - but he's got that quality to arrive in the box and he's got a finish in him.
"I'm delighted with him and his hard work is paying off."
Liverpool's win, coupled with the result in Switzerland, meant Rodgers' men topped Group A by virtue of a superior head-to-head record against Anzhi and Young Boys.
"It was always going to be a very tight group and you saw how close it finished," Rodgers continued.
"I said to the players I thought we could finish top of the group with a good result tonight. I'm absolutely delighted for them because they have been superb throughout the campaign, and their Premier League form is improving all the time.
"It's really good for our momentum to qualify."
Liverpool were well worthy of their triumph in Italy, with only a string of fine saves from former Reds loanee Daniele Padelli preventing them from furthering their advantage.
Nonetheless, visiting hearts were in mouths when substitute Antonio Di Natale volleyed just inches over Pepe Reina's crossbar with the final kick of the game.
Rodgers reflected: "We could have been more comfortable on the night. We had the chance to score another couple of goals and the reason we didn't was mostly down to the goalkeeping of Daniele Padelli.
"I don't think we could have done much more as he made some fantastic saves.
"At 1-0, and when you have a player of Di Natale's quality, it was always possible they could hurt us at the end.
"But we controlled the game, passed the ball, and I thought that element, especially with so many young players, was excellent because we're trying to educate them and teach them how to win.
"When you're 17, 18, 19 and 20 years of age like some of them are, this is a big learning curve.
"Our challenge is to make them better players and educate them in the game. They have done well tonight."
Asked by local journalists about Di Natale's effort, Rodgers insisted the miss could indicate an upturn in Liverpool's fortunes.
"There were 20 seconds left and we gave away the ball. Di Natale got in over the top and even at a very tough angle, he went very, very close. Hopefully this is a sign now that a bit of luck is starting to go our way. A few months back, that might have went in.
"I'm delighted for the players and supporters, over 1,000 of whom travelled over here and that was important. They deserve all the credit along with the players. We can now look forward to the next round in February."