Soccer-Liverpool's stroll in Europe allowed them to focus on Man United Cup clash, says Klopp

Credit: REUTERS/Molly Darlington

March 15 (Reuters) - Liverpool's easy Europa League win over Sparta Prague meant that they could already begin to focus on this weekend's FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United during that game, manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.

Klopp's side were 5-1 up from the away leg and on Thursday they raced into a 4-0 lead after 14 minutes, with qualification to the quarter-finals secured. In the end Liverpool won 6-1 and 11-2 on aggregate.

"We were 4-0 up and that's the moment when you think, okay we take off now, x, y and z. I don't think we would have played Robbo (Andrew Robertson) as a centre-half if it's 0-0 or we're 2-0 down," Klopp told a press conference before Sunday's game.

"It's really strange, you cannot believe you are 4-1 up at half time and 9-2 on aggregate, so even the biggest pessimist would not think that we will not go through.

"Usually you really have no time and resources to think about the next game."

Ibrahima Konate missed Thursday's game and last weekend's draw with Manchester City because of a thigh injury, and Klopp is waiting to see if he can train tomorrow, but said he is not hopeful of his defender winning the race against time.

Bobby Clark was taken off after taking a knock against Sparta but Klopp expects the midfielder to be fine to face United, and is very happy with Mohamed Salah's progress since his recent return from injury.

Salah scored on Thursday in his first start for the club since returning injured from the African Cup of Nations in January, and now comes up against his favourite opponent, with 12 goals in 13 games against United.

"Mo is definitely ready," Klopp said.

"How many goals did he set up last night? Exceptional. Strange game second half, would have loved to take him off but wasn't possible because of Bobby's situation.

"Mo is pure quality. Ask him what he likes the most about Manchester United, but the more we talk about it the less likely that it will happen again."

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes Editing by Christian Radnedge)

((Trevor.Stynes@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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