Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is “really satisfied” that his team came away injury-free after their 0-0 draw against FC Sion on a difficult night in Switzerland.
On a semi-frozen pitch in Switzerland, the Reds played out a goalless draw to secure top spot in a group they had already qualified from. Sion, needing only a point from the game to qualify, also enter Monday’s draw.
Having topped their group with four draws and two wins, Liverpool now theoretically go into the last 32 of the Europa League with a chance of a more favourable draw.
Speaking after the game, Klopp says he is “really satisfied” to be returning home without the added complication of more injuries.
“It was difficult,” said the German. “The ground was very difficult to play and for both teams the first thing to do was show you were prepared for a game like this and that is what my team did.
“It was not our best football and although it is an outdoor sport frozen ground is for other sports.
“Of course in each tournament at this level there should be heating for the ground – that is not good [there was none] – but now we have played here and if we come here again it will maybe be April and I hope it will not be that cold.
“We saw the pitch and we knew what can happen on a pitch like this but as a professional footballer and especially as a manager you cannot talk about the pitch.
“You have to ignore it, try to take it and use it and the only thing that helps in a situation like this is concentration: if you are really ready and prepared and concentrated then usually nothing happens.
“I am really satisfied, no-one is injured and they were very focused and concentrated on the game.”
Klopp took over in mid-October with Liverpool having only two points from their opening two matches and looking in danger of failing to get out of the group. But they did that with a match to spare and now the Reds await their fate in Monday’s draw.
“We wanted to be first after this game and that is what we did,” said the 48-year-old.
“A few weeks ago it was far away from us that we could reach this place but we did it and it is really good.
“We will see how important it (first place) is – there are a lot of good teams in second place and also teams from the Champions League.
“Everyone will have to change their mind about this tournament now as everyone will see it is something like a small Champions League.”
Sion coach Didier Tholot was happy to have also progressed to the knockout stage and made no excuses for the bore draw.
“We deserve this result. We know Liverpool are very offensive and had a couple of dangerous situations but we did not have to rely on our goalkeeper,” he said.
“What we did was a real victory and we are very proud.”