Rui Vieira/Associated Press
Jurgen Klopp is hopeful Alberto Moreno’s injury suffered in Wednesday’s 7-0 win over Spartak Moscow will not keep him out of action for too long.
Moreno was withdrawn on the stroke of half-time for James Milner, and Klopp gave an update on the Spaniard after the match, per James Carroll of the Reds’ official website:
“We had a little shadow on the night when Alberto Moreno needed to get substituted. It was a strange situation. He is a tough guy and if he cannot continue the game then you should consider it could be something serious. In the treatment room then, he was a little bit more positive, so maybe we are lucky and it’s not too serious.”
Goal’s Melissa Reddy also expressed her hope Moreno is not facing a serious problem:
Melissa Reddy @MelissaReddy_
Alberto Moreno devastated to be coming off injured for #LFC, with James Milner replacing him. Hopefully it’s a minor rather than a major issue.
Aside from some high-profile mistakes in the 3-3 draw with Sevilla last month, Moreno has largely been much-improved this season after an unconvincing start to his Liverpool career.
The left-back has perhaps stepped up his game having lost his place to midfielder Milner for large swathes of last season and seen Andy Robertson arrive in the summer.
Robertson has impressed during some limited opportunities this season, having made just four appearances, but he’s a strong back-up for Moreno if he does face a spell on the sidelines, while the versatile Milner remains an option, too.
Liverpool’s 7-0 win was the second time they’ve achieved such a scoreline in the UEFA Champions League group stage this year having done the same against Maribor, and they’ve been fairly prolific in the other four matches:
B/R Football @brfootball
Liverpool break a record set by Manchester United’s famed treble-winning team. 👀 https://t.co/HsFVyCc0te
Each of their front four got in on the action—Philippe Coutinho bagged a hat-trick, Sadio Mane grabbed a brace and Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah netted once apiece—and the team are becoming increasingly ruthless in front of goal after lacking a clinical edge at times earlier in the campaign.
Despite topping their group, though, Liverpool can still get Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the last 16.
Klopp isn’t looking forward to the possibility of facing one of them, but he believes his side can cause problems: “I don’t think anybody is happy when they get us in the draw, so we will not be happy in the moment when we see who we will face in the next round, but we will be ready, that’s for sure.”
The German added: “If we perform like this tonight in these moments, if we are as clinical as tonight, but had with the same players situations where we didn’t score. It’s not a criticism but the past. If they perform like this then obviously 100 per cent [they are a threat].”
Former Manchester United star Roy Keane believes the Reds will find it much more difficult against one of the top sides, though, per ITV Football:
ITV Football @itvfootball
‘Lovely going forward but there will be tougher tests to come’
Watch all the highlights from the @ChampionsLeague on @ITV now. https://t.co/GFlX4AUrcR
Indeed, there will be less to exploit going forward, and the Reds’ defensive issues will be far more exposed against one of Europe’s elite, but Liverpool would equally represent a difficult draw for any side they might face.
The Reds will no doubt be hoping to instead draw Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk or Porto, who—while they should not be taken lightly by any means—will offer a much more favourable route to the quarter-finals.
The draw will take place on Monday, December 11, while the last 16 fixtures will be played in February and March next year.