Jurgen Klopp admits he did not expect Liverpool to cope as well as they have without Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazil international departed Anfield for Barcelona in January 2018 in a £146m move, having handed in a transfer request the previous summer following three failed bids from the Spanish champions.
Coutinho faces his former side for the first time on Tuesday when Liverpool travel to the Nou Camp for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, and Klopp says his move worked out well for both parties.
“Yes we miss Coutinho, a lot, because he is a world-class player and I loved working with him,” said Klopp.
“But we had to deal without him and we really did well.
“When I first heard he wanted to go to Barcelona, I didn’t imagine we could be that good [without him]. But we did, it was all good for both sides.”