Liverpool’s domestic woes were put aside as they swept past RB Leipzig while another of last season’s contenders PSG dumped out Barcelona.
Second half goals from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane helped Liverpool breeze into the last eight with a 4-0 aggregate win.
The Reds, winners of the Champions League two seasons ago, benefitted from Fabinho’s return to the midfield.
The tough-tackling midfielder has for large parts of the season been forced to play centre back but he thrived in his normal position which, in turn, helped Thiago Alcantara produce his best performance in a long while.
Klopp said: “Thiago was good, they were all good.When Naby (Keita) came on that was also good and it was helpful.
“I assume when you all look at Liverpool from Germany, people say it’s (the problems) to do with Thiago or whatever – that’s rubbish.
“For the players who were new, they always needed time to get used to our gameplan but Thiago doesn’t have that. But he improves week on week. It is not a short-term project, it is a long-term project and it was good. It is very fluid how we work together, the boys played some nice passes and Thiago had a great chance as well, I think he could have had a shot on goal but instead passed.”
The Reds next head to Wolves on Monday night in a bid to move up the table. They currently sit in eighth place.
There was less joy in Paris for Barcelona as Lionel Messi missed a penalty en route to his side’s 1-1 draw against PSG.
PSG’s place in the last eight was never in doubt as they kept Messi and Barca at bay especially considering their healthy 4-1 start after their first-leg masterclass.
Someone who did not miss a penalty on Wednesday was Kylain Mbappe, still just 22. With his first half spot kick, he took Messi’s record by 200 days as the youngest player in history to score 25 Champions League goals.
Under-fire boss Ronald Koeman believes his side deserved more at the Parc de Princes.
“We are eliminated, but we leave feeling good [about ourselves],” he said.
“We had chances to make things difficult for the opposition. We played a great first half, we were superior, with a great attitude. We deserved more. At least a 1-2 at half time. That would have made all the difference.”
Like Liverpool, Barcelona are not kings of their own league this campaign. The Spanish giants are six points behind Atletico Madrid after 26 games.