Jurgen Klopp hailed the desire of his players after Liverpool booked a Carabao Cup quarter-final spot by battling through Storm Ciaran to beat Bournemouth 2-1.
Substitute Darwin Nunez settled a challenging fourth-round tie staged in driving rain and swirling winds with a stunning 70th-minute winner.
Cody Gakpo gave the much-changed Reds a half-time lead at Vitality Stadium before the Cherries threatened an upset thanks to Justin Kluivert’s first goal in English football.
“It’s a top, top, top cup game,” said Reds boss Klopp, who made eight changes from Sunday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Nottingham Forest.
“It’s all about winning, it’s all about getting through.
“The good thing today is I don’t have to speak about the circumstances because everybody saw it and felt it.
“It was really difficult, for both teams obviously.
“First half we could have scored more goals, we didn’t, and second half we realised it would have been a good idea to score more goals because the wind changed the game again in the second half.
“We scored our second goal, a wonderful goal, and then we fought extremely hard, we had good moments.
“But it’s all about attitude in these moments.
“Both teams obviously wanted it. Everybody can expect it from the home team but I saw my team as well how hard we really wanted it and I’m really happy about that.
“It was a top cup game in strange, strange circumstances.”
In-form Uruguay forward Nunez unleashed a thunderous finish into the top right corner to claim his third goal in as many games just 10 minutes after coming off the bench.
Underdogs Bournemouth looked well placed to push for a winner at that stage following Kluivert’s close-range header from an Alex Scott corner, which cancelled out Gakpo’s 31st-minute finish at the second attempt.
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“It was a difficult game, Bournemouth did really well, they had their moments,” said Klopp.
“But in life, in football from time to time you need luck and tonight for sure in one or two moments Bournemouth could have finished the situations off a little bit better.
“Then Darwin shows his class and pretty much puts the game to bed for us with an unbelievable goal. We had much better chances in the whole game – five, six, seven – but that was the goal we needed, he did it.
“Now we drive home, long trip – we would have had to do that anyway – but going into the next round feels much better.”
Bournemouth picked up their first top-flight victory under head coach Andoni Iraola by beating Burnley 2-1 on Saturday.
But the spirited Cherries were unable to build on that landmark win with a place in the last eight.
“We were really close,” said Iraola. “One moment in the second half, the game was going our side.
“We were struggling first half. It was difficult with the wind. Both teams were struggling with the build up. It looked as if we could score a second goal and win the game but in the end they made the difference with Darwin’s strike.
“We had a big chance to be in the last eight with some big teams out but we knew it would not be easy.
“They finished the game with most of their starting 11 and had to push really hard to beat us.”