Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reserved high praise for match winner Jordon Ibe following their 1-0 win over Rubin Kazan in the Europa League. The young winger scored the winner after 52 minutes, following a promising first-half for the Reds. The manager was delighted after securing the second win since his arrival at Anfield.
Liverpool are now just two points behind Group B leaders FC Sion, who drew with Bordeaux, which puts Klopp's team in a good position to fight for top spot in the group with just two games remaining.
The manager was proud of his team following the result and believes that the players' desire to win the game took them over the line against the Russian club. Kazan had come into the game in the second half, after Liverpool had the lion's share of possession in the opening half. The Reds amassed 23 attempts, of which just six were on target.
"The first 80 minutes were really good. It wasn't easy to play in such a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium. On that pitch it wasn't easy for the team to keep possession," Klopp said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"But we did really well. We would have liked more but we had our chances. We dominated the first half and we deserved our goal in the second half. As in life, we have to learn everything. We have to learn to win. After 1-0 we lost a bit of rhythm. That opened the door a bit for them but we struck back. I am really satisfied with how we played. It's OK. The lads fought for their lives and that was great to see. You could see how much they wanted to win."
The manager, however, reserved special praise for Ibe, who is slowly but surely making an impact under the new manager. The former Borussia Dortmund boss is confident that the England U21 international, who scored his first Liverpool goal, has all the necessary skills to become a future great, but made it clear that he has a lot to learn and improve to reach his full potential. The manager showed his delight at the end of the game as he galloped towards the player for a hug.
"Jordon is a really good lad. He's a skilful player and a big talent – fast, strong, good at dribbling. He has to learn so much but has a real good base. He feels good in this moment. You could see it in this match," Klopp explained. "Like everyone he has a long way to go. If he's prepared to listen then he will be very good."