• Leipzig game was Nat Phillips' Champions League debut
  • He ended up clinching the Man of the Match award in the game
  • Liverpool defeated Leipzig 2-0 in Budapest

Jurgen Klopp hailed center-back Nat Phillips after Liverpool FC defeated RB Leipzig 2-0 in their last-16's second leg game in the Champions League Wednesday.

Phillips made Liverpool’s first-team debut last season, where he played a FA Cup game. However, with the Reds’ center-back duo of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez currently out with injury, Phillips has been asked to step up. He has already played nine Premier League matches for Liverpool. He made his Champions League debut against RB Leipzig and went on to produce a Man of the Match performance as the Reds progressed to the quarter-finals.

In a post-match interview, Klopp heaped praise on Philipps, saying he couldn’t have been happier for the young defender, who has been doing everything right in the right moment.

"The concentration level he shows now nearly a week in, week out since he's playing for us is absolutely incredible. He's doing exactly the right things at the right moment. In the air, he's a monster but you could see it today, he's football-wise, not bad, really good. I couldn't be happier for somebody than I am for Nat at this moment because it was a great game and not a lot of people get the honor to play a Champions League game. He has that now, he played a really good one, he won it and he's qualified for the last eight in Europe – that's really special. A few years ago, nobody would have thought that and I'm really glad that he can experience it now," Klopp told Liverpool’s official website in an interview after the Reds’ victory in Budapest.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp POOL / PHIL NOBLE

Sadio Mane and Mo Salah scored in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Leipzig, a result that was a pleasant one for Klopp’s side that are having a nightmare season in the Premier League. Having lost six back-to-back league matches at Anfield, and overall, nine games, Liverpool’s title defense has ended. Placed eighth in the table, Liverpool are 25 points behind leaders Manchester City.