Liverpool and Tottenham were lacking the star quality expected of them as the Reds triumphed 2-0 in one of the most disappointing Champions League finals in memory.

Mohamed Salah scored after just two minutes from the penalty spot before 85 minutes of scant little action at either end gave way to a second goal from Liverpool substitute Divock Origi.

It was not the game either set of fans expected, but there were still key moments and interventions that ensured Europe's most coveted trophy headed to Merseyside.

Here's how we rated the players at the Wanda Metropolitano.

TOTTENHAM

Hugo Lloris: 7
Had no chance with the penalty and was otherwise excellent, making a superb save from Andy Robertson shortly before half-time to keep Spurs in touch. Could do little about Origi's goal.

Jan Vertonghen: 6
Did well to keep Salah at bay early in the second half and ventured forward to support a Spurs attack that failed to bare its teeth.

Danny Rose: 6
Fed Son Heung-min and Dele Alli throughout but saw much of his service frittered away, particularly early on.

Kieran Trippier: 6
Like Rose, Trippier poured forward to little effect in the opening stages and his late forays rarely proved effective.

Toby Alderweireld: 6
Was left bloodied at the end of a bruising encounter but could not get across in time to stop Origi from doubling Liverpool's lead three minutes from time.

Christian Eriksen: 6
Squandered a good chance when space opened up for him in first-half stoppage time and saw his curling free-kick saved by Alisson late on.

Harry Winks: 5
Effective around the halfway line, but like his team-mates seemed to freeze when approaching the final third. Replaced by Lucas Moura after 66 minutes.

Son Heung-min: 7
Showed flashes of energy and endeavour but was outmuscled by Virgil van Dijk or outwitted by Alisson when chances came his way.

Dele Alli: 6
Just as he did in the semi-final second leg against Ajax, Alli misplaced passes early on but grew into the game, only to fluff his lines when Tottenham's three best chances fell to him in the second half.

Moussa Sissoko: 5
Suffered a torrid opening to the game when Sadio Mane's cross hit his arm after 26 seconds and lost the key midfield battle against Jordan Henderson that could have turned the game in Spurs' favour.

Harry Kane: 5
Barely involved in the first half, Kane improved in the last 20 minutes as Tottenham pressed for an equaliser, but it was too little, too late from the England captain.

Substitutes

Lucas Moura: 6
Could have been Tottenham's saviour again but side-footed somewhat tamely at Alisson when the ball fell to him 12 yards out.

Eric Dier: 5
Replaced the disappointing Sissoko and fared little better in the heart of Tottenham's midfield.

Fernando Llorente: 5
Sent on late as Mauricio Pochettino sought the kind of heroics he delivered against Ajax but failed to make a mark on the game.

LIVERPOOL

Alisson: 7
Faced no shots in the first half but remained alert enough to make a crucial double-save from Son and Moura – and a superb one from Eriksen – when it mattered most.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7
One of Liverpool's major attacking threats in the first half, firing narrowly wide with an audacious 25-yard drive.

Virgil van Dijk: 7
As calm and assured as you would expect of the PFA Players' Player of the Year and showed his pace and composure to cut Son's mazy dribble short after 75 minutes.

Joel Matip: 7
Viewed as the potential weak link in Liverpool's side by some, Matip did not let his side down and helped to keep Kane eerily quiet before providing the assist for Origi's goal.

Andy Robertson: 6
Linked up with Mane to cause Tottenham problems early on and put in a solid performance defensively.

Jordan Henderson: 7
Harried and pressed Tottenham when he had to, doing just enough to keep Winks and Sissoko from settling into the game.

Georginio Wijnaldum: 5
The game passed him by in the first half and he was little better after the break, making him the obvious choice to come off for James Milner.

Fabinho: 7
Combined with Henderson to nullify the Spurs midfield, helping the England man form a wall on the halfway line that snuffed out Sissoko and Alli time and again.

Mohamed Salah: 7
Lashed home Liverpool's opener with supreme confidence and teed Milner and Mane up for good second-half chances despite seeing relatively little of the ball.

Sadio Mane: 7
Ran at Spurs from the outset and forced the penalty before playing a key role in Liverpool's late resurgence.

Roberto Firmino: 5
After a very quiet first half, Firmino cut an even more subdued figure after the interval and was replaced by Origi just before the hour-mark.

Substitutes

Divock Origi: 8
There was a buzz of excitement at the Liverpool end when Origi replaced Firmino and he did not disappoint, lashing the only chance that came his way into the bottom corner of Lloris' net.

James Milner: 7
Reinvigorated Liverpool on the hour, firing just wide from the edge of the box and rallying the troops to push for the second.

Joe Gomez: 5
Replaced Mane late on but had little to do.

Jurgen Klopp has described his Liverpool side as the best he has ever taken into a final ahead of Saturday's Champions League showdown against Tottenham.

Klopp's Borussia Dortmund were defeated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 2013, while he was on the losing side again last year as Real Madrid prevailed in Kiev.

The Reds have enjoyed a superb campaign, finishing second in the Premier League with a whopping 97 points, and produced a remarkable second-leg comeback against Barcelona to set up the mouth-watering clash with Spurs at the Wanda Metropolitano at the weekend.

Klopp is in awe of his side's achievements this season and believes they are perfectly positioned to win a first Champions League since 2005.

"I love them all, they have all given everything," he told a media conference. "I've never been part of a final with a better team, that's true.

"I'm not so surprised because the boys have a mix of potential and attitude in the best way I have ever witnessed. That's just brilliant, exceptional, and that brought us where we are.

"It's a sensational situation, being here again is great. We wanted it, really desperately, but it looked like it would slip through our fingers in the group stage. I'm really happy that we can do it again."

Klopp reserved special praise for James Milner and Jordan Henderson, who he believes epitomise the hunger to improve that is so prevalent throughout his squad.

"The best piece of character of this team is the constant readiness for development," he explained.

"Take James Milner. He is 33 now, but he's still developing. He's taking really big steps, calming down here and using his unbelievable skills in better moments.

"He's an example, like Henderson. They always want to make the next step; it's just in them, and it helps a lot."

Liverpool beat Tottenham in both their Premier League meetings this season, most recently at Anfield in March, but Klopp does not think that will give his side the edge on Saturday.

"It will be very tight, no doubt," he said. "The quality of Tottenham and us is pretty similar. The difference between us in the league is consistency. We won both games, but both 2-1.

"The home game was a tight game with a lucky goal from us in the last minute. [Mauricio] Pochettino is right; emotions will be completely different. You have to use the emotions but in the right circumstances. It's a special game, but we have to bring ourselves in the right mood."

Liverpool midfielder James Milner will be supporting Manchester United for the first time, but he will avoid watching their clash against City.

Wednesday's Manchester derby shapes as being vital in the Premier League title race, with Jurgen Klopp's men two points clear at the top but City holding a game in hand.

Milner, a former City and Leeds United midfielder, said he would be supporting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men.

"First time in my life," he said.

"But I won't be watching. It's a bit of a waste of energy, willing the ball in the other goal.

"I can't do anything about it. I'll maybe put my phone away for a few hours and check it after. I've no idea what I'll do, maybe go out for some food."

With three games left, Liverpool are up to 88 points and could finish the campaign with 97 but still not win a first league title since 1990.

While Liverpool have matches against Huddersfield Town, Newcastle United and Wolves left, Manchester City will meet Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton and Hove Albion after the derby.

"There's three games left after that [derby]. People think United is a challenge, but it's not the only one," Milner said.

"It's an old cliche, but the Premier League is tough – whoever you play, teams battling at the bottom."

Jurgen Klopp revealed how Liverpool's attention to detail meant they opted not to cut the grass at Melwood in preparation for their trip to Cardiff City.

The Reds returned to the Premier League summit with a 2-0 triumph in the Welsh capital on Sunday, Georginio Wijnaldum opening the scoring in the 57th minute before James Milner's late penalty wrapped up the points.

Liverpool not only had to overcome a dogged home side but also a dry pitch and warm conditions, though they were not caught out by the playing surface thanks to Klopp's pre-match plans at the training ground.

The Merseyside club now have 88 points, already their highest ever total in a Premier League campaign with three fixtures still to go.

"Yesterday we didn't cut the grass at Melwood and didn't water it,' Klopp told Sky Sports.

"Obviously it's how people do it, so we trained on it and it helped, because it's so difficult, so different. 

"I didn't want to come here and be surprised by it, so we trained already for one hour and 10 minutes on a dry pitch, so the boys were used to it.

"It's not about it not being possible, you just have to be ready for things not to happen quickly and not to get frustrated. 

"We deserved the three points, it's an outstanding moment and 88 points is pretty special. This team deserves it."

Liverpool put the pressure back on Manchester City in the title race after taking over top spot again on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds returned to the Premier League summit thanks to a hard-fought 2-0 win away at struggling Cardiff City, Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner scoring the goals in the second half.

The result lifts Liverpool two points ahead of their rivals, though City do still have a game in hand going into the closing weeks of the campaign.

Pep Guardiola's side can leapfrog over the leaders with victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday, though Milner admitted Liverpool are at least making it tougher for the reigning champions to retain their crown.

"All we can do is keep the pressure on them and win our games," the former City midfielder told Sky Sports. 

"It makes it tougher for them, as if we slip up it gives them that little cushion, allows them a draw or a slip-up.

"All we can do is win the rest of our games and hopefully that's good enough. If not, fair play to City, but we are asking all the questions of them that we can.

"Both teams have been ruthless and clinical in doing their jobs. It's not easy week on week - we've lost one game all year and were second [before Sunday's result]. We go back top now, though, and puts a bit of pressure on them.

"We just have to concentrate on being perfect and will see if that's good enough."

Wijnaldum's opener - a well-struck shot from a set-piece routine - was crucial against Cardiff, with the home side having made life tough for their opponents.

Yet despite having to wait until the 57th minute to break the deadlock, the Netherlands international was always confident Liverpool would win after controlling the first half.

"It's always a relief, especially at this time of the season. You know that you have to win - in the first half we created chances but didn't score," Wijnaldum said in his post-match interview. 

"Everyone was waiting for a goal and when you get it, it's a relief. I was really happy, and the fans were really happy, too."

Liverpool maintained their pursuit for a first league title in 29 years with a battling 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Cardiff City on Sunday.

After Manchester City moved to the summit with a hard-fought triumph of their own against Tottenham just over 24 hours earlier, the Reds were made to sweat in the April sunshine by a side occupying the final relegation spot in the table.

Eventually, Liverpool found a clever way to break down a stubborn Cardiff defence, Georginio Wijnaldum meeting Trent Alexander-Arnold's corner with a powerful first-time finish.

A foul on Mohamed Salah by Sean Morrison allowed James Milner to wrap up a ninth successive win in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp's side from the penalty spot, meaning they now sit two points clear of the reigning champions, who have a game in hand.

After booking their place in the Champions League semi-finals in midweek, Liverpool returned to domestic duties knowing only a victory would suffice in the Welsh capital.

Roberto Firmino carelessly lifted their best chance of the first half over the top, wasting good work by fellow forwards Salah and Sadio Mane as his left-footed shot cleared both the advancing Neil Etheridge and the crossbar.

Cardiff's goalkeeper was needed to make a close-range save to deny Salah shortly after, though Liverpool did not pick up the pace until after the interval, leading to Wijnaldum’s 57th-minute strike from a well-worked set piece.

Having wasted a free header with the score at 1-0, letting Alisson off the hook after the goalkeeper had failed to deal with a corner, Morrison was adjudged to have pulled down Salah in the other penalty area, allowing Milner - who replaced fellow substitute Fabinho due to a head injury - to put the result beyond doubt.

 

What does it mean? Over to you, City

For some time now, the Manchester derby has appeared the crucial fixture in deciding who will be crowned champions.

Pep Guardiola’s side can leapfrog Liverpool again with victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday, putting them in pole position to retain their title with three games remaining. Astonishingly, Klopp’s squad could end up as bridesmaids on 97 points.

Gini shows his bottle

Wijnaldum's form has dipped during recent weeks, yet the midfielder made a crucial impact in a must-win situation, showing excellent technique to slam home a rolling ball.

Morrison's unwanted impact

The Bluebirds captain had a glorious chance to nod in an unexpected equaliser only to fluff his lines, while his grappling with Salah ended any hopes the home side had of getting something from the game.

What's next? 

Liverpool host relegated Huddersfield Town at Anfield next on Friday, while Cardiff City travel to another Championship-bound club in Fulham the following day.

James Milner believes Liverpool can cause problems for Champions League favourites Barcelona despite his own forgettable experiences at Camp Nou. 

Milner was part of Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City teams that bowed out at the first knockout stage in 2014 and 2015. 

The Reds will face Lionel Messi and his illustrious team-mates at a deeper stage of the competition, having swatted aside Porto to reach the semi-finals, and the 33-year-old believes their playing style under Jurgen Klopp can pose tough questions of any opponent.

"We can beat Barca but we know it will very tough," Milner told reporters. "I've been there a couple of times in the knockout stages with City and not got the right result, so hopefully it is third time lucky for me. 

"They are a strong team and it is a tough place to go but I don't think they will have played too many teams with the style we play either. It will be difficult.  

"They are a team full of great individual talent and a great side too. The Camp Nou is a fantastic stadium and a fantastic place to play with a great atmosphere. It will be very tough and we will have to be at our best but tough for them too.

"Over the last couple of seasons, with the teams we have beaten in the Champions League, we should go there with confidence no matter how tough it is going to be.  

"I'm sure you can see in this year's run and in games when things haven't been going well that we have got the experience. We have been there before and know how to get results." 

Attentions return to the Premier League, with Liverpool travelling to relegation-threatened Cardiff City on Sunday after City take on a Tottenham side that dramatically eliminated them from Europe in midweek. 

Both teams have set a relentless pace at the top of the table and Milner believes Liverpool must win all their remaining games – and reach a points haul of 97 – to become champions. 

"That is what we will have to do. That is what we will try to do," he added, with City's game in hand meaning last season's centurions can still go on to 98 this time around. 

"There are a lot of tough games coming up and it won't be easy. We are used to a game every three days and when the pressure is on towards the end of the season it maybe takes a bit more out of you.  

"But the team has been fantastic in terms of how we have dealt with it all."

Liverpool midfielder James Milner is expecting Premier League title rivals Manchester City to "react like champions" against Tottenham on Saturday.

Milner's former club were narrowly eliminated by Spurs on away goals in a thrilling Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, ending City's quadruple dreams.

Liverpool need City – who have a game in hand - to slip up in order to win the title but Milner does not expect that to come this weekend.

"They're Premier League champions for a reason so I'm sure they'll react like champions and go again at the weekend," he told Sky Sports.

"But Spurs will have their backs up as well and want to bounce back and go again after a great result getting through.

"They're two top teams and I'm sure it will be an exciting game for the neutral.

"Obviously it's disappointing for them [City] and they'll be pushing hard for the remaining games of the season.

"We can keep one eye on it but all we can do is concentrate on our games, we can control what our results are."

With four games to go, Milner knows they most likely need to win all of them if they are to end their 29-year wait for a league title.

"That's what we have to do and that's what we'll try to do," he added. "It's not easy, there are a lot of tough games coming up thick and fast.

"We're used to that, we do it all the time. We've been used to a game every three days for the majority of the season but like I say when there's a bit of added extra pressure on them towards the end of the season it maybe takes a bit more out of you mentally.

"But I think the team has done fantastically all season and now we're just focusing on the next game."

James Milner is convinced that Liverpool have what it takes to get their hands on a first top-flight title in 29 years.

The Reds are locked in a pulsating battle with Manchester City for the Premier League trophy and face arguably their toughest remaining domestic fixture on Sunday when Chelsea visit Anfield.

Milner – who won the Premier League twice during his time with City – has seen enough from his team-mates, though, to suggest they can pip his old side to the trophy this season.

"I think we have what it takes," he said. "You have seen how we've improved over the past few years.

"You look at times this season when we have perhaps not played so well but still got results.

"We have great determination to keep going when things are not going well. So, it is all there – the quality is there – and it's a young team as well.

"It doesn't mean we will get over the line but we are getting closer each year and we've got a good chance. We just have to take care of our games.

"We are up against what a lot of people say is one of the best-ever Premier League teams in Manchester City, the players they have, the points they have.

"There is no tug of emotion from me towards City because I played for them. Just to win the league again would be amazing. I had a great five years there, won every trophy in England but my motivation now is to beat a very good team."

Liverpool are two points ahead of City at the Premier League summit but Pep Guardiola's side – who face Crystal Palace on Sunday – do have a game in hand.

James Milner will start at left-back for Liverpool in place of the suspended Andy Robertson for Tuesday's Champions League visit of Porto, while Joe Gomez is on the bench.

Robertson's absence is a major blow for the Reds given his impressive form this season, though Milner is a reliable replacement having previously played in the position under Jurgen Klopp.

Milner gets the nod ahead of Alberto Moreno, who was hoping for his first appearance in any competition since January but is not even included among the substitutes.

Gomez is included in the matchday squad, however, despite Klopp saying in his pre-match news conference that the youngster would only play if there was no other option.

The 21-year-old last featured for Liverpool in December when he suffered a fractured leg.

Milner is one of three changes from the weekend win over Southampton, with Joel Matip and Georginio Wijnaldum dropping to the bench – Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson coming into the team.

The main talking point in the Porto side is the inclusion of Brazil international left-back Alex Telles, who had been considered a doubt with a hip injury.

Premier League heavyweights Tottenham and Manchester City go head-to-head for the first time in European football in what promises to be a mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final.

Pep Guardiola's side hold the upper hand, having won the last three meetings in all competitions, but Spurs striker Harry Kane is on a fine run of form in the competition and will pose a significant threat to the City backline.

In Tuesday's other quarter-final first leg, Premier League leaders Liverpool host Porto – a side they have never lost to.  

Get equipped with some essential Opta numbers as the last eight kicks off with a bang.

 

Tottenham v Manchester City

11 - Manchester City have won 11 of their last 16 matches against Spurs (drawn one, lost four), with all those meetings coming in the Premier League. They've won their last three in a row.

4 - Manchester City have lost all four of their European matches against English opponents, losing both legs of the 1970-71 Cup Winners' Cup semi-final against Chelsea and both legs of last season's Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool.

17 - Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been involved in 17 goals in 17 Champions League appearances (14 goals, three assists). Kane has scored a goal every 106 minutes – the best ratio of any Englishman to have played at least 200 minutes in the competition.

7 - Leroy Sane has had a hand in seven goals in his last three Champions League games for Manchester City (four goals, three assists), scoring with all four shots on target in this time.

92 - Of the remaining eight teams, Spurs have scored the highest percentage of Champions League goals in the second half this season (92 per cent), while Manchester City have scored more second half goals than any other side (16).

26 - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has won 26 of his 52 Champions League knockout matches, just one behind the all-time record held jointly by Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti (27 wins).

Liverpool v Porto

6 - Liverpool have never lost a European match against FC Porto in six previous encounters (won three, drawn three).

12 - Each of Liverpool’s 12 goals in the Champions League this season have come from inside the box – they are the only side left in the competition yet to net a goal from outside the penalty area.

10 - Liverpool midfielder James Milner has recorded 10 Champions League assists since the beginning of last season, more than any other player. Indeed, since 2003-04, only three other Englishman have registered double figures for assists for a single side in the competition (Frank Lampard – Chelsea, Wayne Rooney – Manchester United and Steven Gerrard – Liverpool).

7 - Porto striker Moussa Marega is looking to become just the fourth different player in Champions League history to score in seven successive matches in the competition, after Edinson Cavani, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo.

20 - Should he appear, Sadio Mane will make his 20th Champions League appearance, scoring 13 goals in his 19 games so far. Only five players have ever scored more than 13 in their first 20 matches in the competition's history: Alessandro Del Piero – 14, Van Nistelrooy – 16, Andriy Shevchenko – 14, Jari Litmanen – 14 and Roberto Soldado – 16.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had no doubts over James Milner's ability to atone for his earlier error and seal a 2-1 win over Fulham.

The Reds edged two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table having played a game more, but had to endure late drama against their relegation-haunted opponents at Craven Cottage.

Milner, introduced as a second-half substitute, sliced a clearance skywards that led to a mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson. Ex-Liverpool forward Ryan Babel was the beneficiary as he cancelled out Sadio Mane's 26th-minute opener.

But Mane was brought down by Fulham goalkeeper Sergio Rico, leaving Milner to convert in assured fashion from the penalty spot nine minutes from time.

"Millie has the penalties, when he's on the pitch, it makes sense [for him to take it]," Klopp told a post-match news conference.

"There were no doubts but even Millie is a human being. Mind you, without Millie it's probably 1-0!

"We showed a good reaction. It wasn't a perfect performance.

"I was sure we wouldn't panic and wouldn't show the nerves that you are all waiting for. We are long enough in this situation.

"It's difficult for other teams to beat us so that means we have a chance to win it."

City's game in hand will not arrive until the Manchester derby towards the end of next month and Klopp does not expect too many slips from Pep Guardiola's side, despite them enduring a scare of their own during Saturday's 3-2 FA Cup quarter-final win over Swansea City.

"It doesn't look like City will drop a lot of points so we have to win and win. It's very important we won today. You could see our reaction after the game.

"We have to make sure we stay in the race and we want to stay in the race."

James Milner says he felt the pressure of his earlier mistake before dispatching a crucial penalty to help Liverpool to a slender 2-1 Premier League win over Fulham.

The experienced Milner was brought on by Jurgen Klopp to help see out the game with Liverpool winning 1-0, only for him to send a mindless clearance skywards, which Virgil van Dijk and Alisson made a mess of to allow ex-Reds forward Ryan Babel to cancel out Sadio Mane's 26th-minute opener.

Mane, who has 11 goals in his past 11 outings, was brought down by Sergio Rico after the Fulham goalkeeper spilt Mohamed Salah's shot to hand Milner his shot at redemption and move Liverpool above Manchester City to the Premier League summit.

"I think obviously with what's gone before, I feel that's probably my fault, so it was important I put it away and made up for that," Milner told Sky Sports.

"There's years of practice that have gone into the penalties. In the game you've just got to go back to what you’ve been practicing and be calm and know what you're going to do.

"It was me who put him [Van Dijk] in the mire, to be fair. The gaffer said come on and calm it down, so the best thing to do was to slice it over the top and put Virg under pressure, which wasn't ideal. But lucky enough we got the result and did what we needed to do."

On his own role in the goal, Van Dijk said: "I'm not giving excuses. I should have headed it better. It is what it is, they scored, but we scored again, so we won. We got three points, so we go home all happy and we're top of the league."

The win moves Liverpool two points in front of City, who defeated Swansea City in FA Cup action on Saturday.

James Milner believes Liverpool should have won more trophies in recent years and is "desperate" to ditch the Reds' reputation of being nearly men.

The England international lifted two Premier Leagues, an FA Cup and an EFL Cup during his five seasons at Manchester City but has failed to add to his medal collection since joining the Reds in June 2015.

Now in his fourth season with Liverpool, Milner has been on the losing side of three cup finals and his best Premier League finish in a Reds jersey is fourth.

Jurgen Klopp's side sit second, one point behind Milner's former club City, and will almost certainly improve on recent league campaigns – but that is not enough for Milner.

"You know, it's been so long since we won a league title," Milner told UK newspapers. "Even in recent years, Liverpool haven't won as many trophies as they should do for such a big club.

"Even for us now, we are a young team, we are improving but the chances we have given ourselves? We have to put that right. We have to get over the line in one of them."

The 33-year-old featured for Liverpool in the 2016 EFL Cup final penalty shoot-out loss to Manchester City, the 2016 Europa League final defeat against Sevilla and last season's Champions League heartbreak against Real Madrid.

"I have been to three finals since I have been here, lost them all and I am desperate to put that right," Milner added.

"It's a memory you will never forget. You are proud to have played in the European Cup final but you don't go there to lose. You still think about it now.

"We probably took more positives from last year than negatives, but it's a bitter pill to swallow when you lose the final of the Champions League and the way we went down.

"I have loved every minute of my time at Liverpool but to have not won something when we have given ourselves opportunities is difficult to take at this moment. It is something I am desperate to put right."

James Milner has challenged Sadio Mane to maintain his devastating form until the end of the season after his double helped Liverpool down Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp's side became the fourth Premier League side to reach the quarter-finals with a 3-1 in the Allianz Arena, with Virgil van Dijk on target in-between Mane's solo effort in the 26th minute and diving header during the closing stages.

Mane also scored braces in Liverpool's back-to-back home wins over Watford and Burnley in the Premier League and Milner believes the Senegal forward will be vital as the Reds battle for the top prizes at home and abroad.

"We didn't play our best but it's about getting a result," he told BT Sport. "The front three were outstanding. Sadio is on fire.

"The first goal was ridiculous, how he's finished it off. He's on fire at the moment and I hope he keeps it up until the end of the season."

Liverpool beat Premier League champions and current title rivals Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last time around.

However, with Manchester United and Tottenham also in the hat, Milner suggested he might prefer to be paired alongside another continental foe in Friday's draw – with Barcelona, Juventus, Ajax and Porto the options in that regard.

"It's good for English football. That's what you want. I don't really think we want to play each other in the next round," he added.

"We'll see who we get. We've got good feelings from last year and hopefully we can carry that on and go as far as we can in this competition."

Along with captain Jordan Henderson limping off due to an ankle injury early on, Andy Robertson's stoppage-time yellow card means the left-back will miss the first leg in the next round.

"Yeah, it happens in games," Van Dijk, who missed the goalless first leg versus Bayern due to a ban of his own, said on BT Sport. "He's a bit unlucky.

"We need to cover it up and we will. We have plenty of quality in the squad."

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