Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk explains Jurgen Klopp message before Inter Milan win

Inter Milan v Liverpool: Pictures

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk revealed that the message from Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff was that his side would need to ‘suffer’ in the first leg of their Champions League tie against Inter Milan. The Reds won a tight and cagey affair 2-0 thanks to goals from substitute Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. 

Neither side managed a shot on target at the San Siro until Firmino’s deft header from a corner. 

Former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko had a goal disallowed for offside for an Inter side who caused Liverpool plenty of problems. 

Hakan Calhanoglu also struck the crossbar in the first half. 

And Van Dijk conceded that Liverpool knew the reigning Serie A champions would pose a strong threat. 

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“One of the messages before the game was you need to be ready to suffer, be ready to do the hard work and we definitely did,” Van Dijk told BT Sport. 

“It’s a very good performance, clean sheet. Happy days. 

“It’s a tough, tough place to come of course. They’re a very good team, good system, very difficult to break down. The atmosphere was incredible – I really enjoyed it out there.  

“Obviously it was very important with the set-piece in the end and it’s a strength of ours and we can keep using this. 

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“I think it was a very solid performance and a good result to take back home.”

Pressed further on Inter’s performance, the Dutchman continued: “They did very well, I must say, defensively.

“It was very hard to beat your marker but we found the space and it was a great goal.  

“I think it’s a very deserved win for us but it was very hard work and it will be the same at Liverpool.”

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Liverpool will now take a 2-0 lead back to Anfield for the second leg in three weeks’ time. 

However, they will not have an away goal advantage after the rule was scrapped ahead of the knockout rounds. 

That does not matter to former Liverpool forward Michael Owen, though, who reckons Klopp’s side are all but through to the quarter-finals. 

He said on BT Sport: “Liverpool are virtually through already and don’t even need the fortress of Anfield to carry them home, it is job done already.”
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