Peter Crouch admitted he was ‘pessimistic’ before Liverpool’s Champions League win over Red Bull Leipzig but picked out two main ‘positives’ from their 2-0 win on the night.
Given their poor domestic form – Liverpool sit eighth in the Premier League – there was no guarantee Klopp’s men would progress to the final eight and Crouch, the former Liverpool striker, admitted he was ‘nervous’ before kick-off.
However, the ex-England international felt there were a lot of encouragement from Wednesday night’s performance.
He was impressed by the partnership struck up by inexperienced defender Nat Phillips and January signing Ozan Kabak.
And he thinks Fabinho’s return to the heart of midfield is only good news for Liverpool going forwards.
‘We were right to be nervous before the game, pessimistic, because the form’s not been good,’ Crouch told BT Sport.
‘But there were so many positives tonight. I thought Nat Phillips and Kabak looked like a good combination, defensively they were sound.
‘Fabinho coming back into midfield just makes them a much better team. Great result.’
While it was a good night for Liverpool, Rio Ferdinand – the former Manchester United centre-half – doesn’t think they are truly in contention to win a seventh Champions League.
‘There’s Bayern [Munich], Man City, PSG we’ve seen have gone through in the other game.
‘Those teams will be licking their lips if they come up against a centre-back pairing like that at this level.’