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After the controversial 1st-leg Man Utd should have enough experience to see off Lille. Click here for Man Utd v Lille odds.

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard was humble in defeat as he admitted that Liverpool deserved to take their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The current holders earned a 1-0 win at Anfield, which meant Liverpool went through on away goals.

“It is necessary to congratulate Liverpool,” said the Dutchman.

“They have played, forcefully, very hard, direct and with a lot of mental strength.

“They have made a great team, organised well at the back and with a lot of depth.

“The result was correct. We gained 0-1, but with some luck. They had chances and were a team with a lot of emotion and at a superior level.”

“Liverpool produced a great performance. I do not see it as being progressive, they are very direct while being mentally strong and motivated,” said the Dutchman.

“Other teams will not like playing them. With luck they can beat anyone in the competition.”

Despite the result, Rijkaard was happy to praise the efforts of his players.

“We could not make a difference, but I congratulate the attitude and the pride of the players,” he added.

“They were excellent and played with a good spirit.

“Barca played with pride and we won here in a complicated match, yes perhaps with some luck – but the players fought and this is a good thing.”

Perfect performance
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez hailed his team’s performance, suggesting the display bordered on perfection.

“My players produced almost a perfect performance,” said Benitez.

However, Benitez would not be drawn on whether he had won a tactical battle with his Barcelona counterpart.

He said: “I do not like to talk of battles with managers, I was happy with the way I set up my side and everyone played their part but it is about what players do, not what managers do.

“We deserved to score, we coped well under that level of pressure and over two legs we have shown we are better than a team considered the best in the world.”

After the controversial 1st-leg Man Utd should have enough experience to see off Lille. Click here for Man Utd v Lille odds.

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