Klopp delights in Liverpool's perfect storm
Liverpool overwhelmed Hoffenheim thanks to "14 months of the hardest work", according to manager Jurgen Klopp.
Jurgen Klopp felt Hoffenheim were struck down by a perfect first-half "thunderstorm" as his Liverpool side romped into the Champions League group stages with a 4-2 win at Anfield.
Emre Can scored either side of Mohamed Salah's goal, all in the first 21 minutes, to set the Reds on their way to a 6-3 aggregate triumph.
Mark Uth pulled one back for Hoffenheim before the interval and Sandro Wagner's 79th-minute consolation came after Roberto Firmino added Liverpool's fourth, but the Bundesliga side were thoroughly outmatched in the face of a rampant attack.
"I thought the first half hour was a thunderstorm and I've really enjoyed it," Klopp told BT Sport.
"I have not enough words for this, it's amazing. It's 14 months of the hardest work
"It feels in this moment, absolutely amazing. Big, big, big compliments to my team. They played a perfect first half an hour.
"At half-time I asked them if they could remember the feeling they had at 3-0 and told them to put that feeling away because there was too much relief at that moment.
"But credit to Hoffenheim they played football and continued to enjoy the game. They can score two goals because of their quality.
"We didn't think we were the favourites but everyone else did so we had the pressure, but the boys did good."
Jurgen Klopp on the Reds' return to the Champions League:— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 23, 2017
"Yippee! It means everything!" pic.twitter.com/ZncAxNjmqE
Aside from the thrill of bringing heavyweight European action back to Anfield, Klopp conceded there is also a more practical benefit to returning to the Champions League.
"In talks with a lot of players or if we want to extend contracts they say '…if we play Champions League'," he said.
"To strengthen a team like this is not too easy. There are not too many players out there who are better than these players.
"I really love the attitude of these players. Always people say we don't do this or we don't do that right but we hit back all the time."
One element of adversity off the field Liverpool have had to contend with is Barcelona's interest in sidelined playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
Reports emerged on Wednesday that Barca had tabled a fourth bid worth £138million but Klopp remained unmoved on the issue.
"There is nothing else to say," he added. "It's not that I don't want to talk about it, I just have nothing to say."