Rafael Benitez has warned his players against the dangers of complacency after watching his Liverpool side cruise to a 3-0 first leg win at PSV Eindhoven.
Benitez, whose side came from behind to win the trophy in 2005, said: “We know we are close but in football you have to stay focused for every match.
“We must remember Istanbul, we came back from 3-0 down.
“There must be no room for complacency now. We must take the second leg seriously and play a proper match.
“We knew they had some problems and we had to do the job. We had to profit from their mistakes.
“The three goals were really good and it is important to see different players scoring goals.
“If we can keep them quiet for the first 45 minutes, then maybe we can start thinking of reaching the semi-finals.
“For me, this is a different feeling from the season when we won the trophy. This team is better than that one was but this is another year, another competition. Although we are getting closer.”
PSV Eindhoven coach Ronald Koeman admitted that the home defeat effectively ended their European campaign.
“We played with the same tactics against Arsenal to beat them in the last round,” said a disconsolate Koeman.
“But we have injuries now, we are missing a few important players, and you could see that we did not have the quality to match Liverpool.
“The result is bad. It is impossible now to go to Anfield and make out a case for reaching the next round. If I tried to find a reason to believe that, I would be from another planet.
“We played well until they scored their first. Then we started to give Steve Finnan too much freedom and we started to make mistakes.
“From then on it was clear that Liverpool were too strong for us. It is not realistic to think that we can win the tie now.”