Dejan Lovren has declared that Liverpool should be respected after beating Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate to quality for the semifinals of the Champions League; “I think after this, there should be more respect for Liverpool”; The Reds defender said.
Liverpool came from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 during their Champions League quarter final second leg match at the Etihad; having gone behind in the opening two minutes of the game through Gabriel Jesus’ strike.
“When you concede one goal and score five against Manchester City I think we should respect Liverpool more; Lovren said after the game.
“People talked from the beginning about Manchester City being favourites and they were favourites, but I think after this there should be more respect for Liverpool.”
Meanwhile, the Reds were second best in the opening half at the Etihad, but came out for the second half a much improved side, and Lovren has lifted the lid on what happened in the dressing room at halftime.
“To be honest I was shouting a bit at half-time,” said Lovren. “I told the lads to wake up because it was not good enough and I said we were sitting too deep.
“Of course Klopp said ‘Yes you are sitting too deep because you are not pushing up’. He wanted me and Virg (Virgil van Dijk) to be more compact and push the team up, but it was quite difficult to push up when City had the ball.
“It was all positive, there was nothing negative, but I needed to remind the guys that we had 50 minutes to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League and we needed to give more.
“The first 10-15 minutes wasn’t good enough. When you see the second half, again they had a couple of chances but nothing too serious.”
Lovren however, insists that Liverpool’s slow start to the Premier League season is the only reason why Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are running away with the title.
“The regret is definitely the first six or seven games of the season in the Premier League,” added Lovren.
“We had many draws and they took us out of the first place. I would say we didn’t have any luck with injuries again and City didn’t have injuries all season.
“It was weird because we didn’t catch up well from the beginning.
I’m definitely confident that next season we can push everyone, even ourselves, to do better from the beginning to the end.
“They deserve to be champions but we are in good shape now and hopefully we can go to the final and it can be a good season for us.
Also, we need to finish in the top four for next season.”
With Real Madrid and Bayern Munich looking likely to join Roma and Liverpool for Friday’s semifinal draw, Lovren does not want his team to be drawn with 12-time Champions, Real Madrid.
“From a personal point of view I don’t want Real Madrid in the semi-finals. They have a lot of experience in the Champions League, a lot of records and over the past three seasons it is always them,” he said.
“But whoever we get will find it difficult to come to Anfield and score some goals.