JURGEN KLOPP has rarely been short of a smile.
But when he watched the Champions League draw his grin would have been as wide as the Mersey.
It was not just that Liverpool got the last eight opponents everybody else wanted – Porto.
Even having to play the first leg at home will have been a minor inconvenience.
The Estadio Dragao is a passionate amphitheatre, but having doused the demands of Bavaria in the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, Klopp’s men will take that in their stride.
But what would really have given the Liverpool boss an extra spring in his step was Manchester City’s looming clash with Spurs.
Man City fixtures
March 16 – Swansea (a) FA Cup
March 30 – Fulham (a) PL
April 6 Cardiff City (h) PL
April 9 Tottenham (a) CL
April 14 Crystal Palace (a) PL
April 16 Tottenham (h) CL
April 20 Tottenham (h) PL
April 24 Manchester United (a) PL
April 28 Burnley (a) PL
May 4 Leicester (h) PL
May 12 Brighton (a) PL
City might have overtaken Liverpool as the battle for the crown reaches its final straight.
But they now face those two games with Spurs, including the first European night at Tottenham’s gleaming new 62,000-capacity home back in N17, as part of a manic, frantic, all-consuming spell of seven huge games in no more than 19 days.
Assuming City beat Swansea this weekend – and they are heavy favourites – they will then play their FA Cup semi-final on Saturday April 6 or the following day.
That, of course, could be against neighbours and rivals Manchester United, a titanic clash at Wembley.
Just three days later, City will be back in London, a few miles further round the North Circular, for that Spurs Champions League clash.
And that is just the start of a series of games that will drain even Pep Guardiola’s resources.
On April 14, it is the capital again. South of the Thames this time, facing a Crystal Palace side who have already claimed their scalp once this season and who were a late missed penalty at Selhurst away from being the first side to beat them last term as well.
By the following weekend, they will have played Spurs twice more, both at the Etihad, with the second leg in Europe the midweek match before the Premier League game follows.
And on April 24, just to bring it all to a head, another home game, this time against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.
Each game under huge pressure, a mighty test of mind and body.
March 17 – Fulham (a) PL
March 31 – Tottenham (h) PL
April 5 – Southampton (a) PL
April 9 – Porto (h) CL
April 14 – Chelsea (h) PL
April 16 – Porto (a) CL
April 21 – Cardiff City (a) PL
April 26 – Huddersfield (h) PL
May 4 – Newcastle (a) PL
May 12 – Wolves (h) PL
In stark contrast, Liverpool have just five games in the same period.
They start at Southampton, a ground where they tend to win, on Friday April 5.
That gives extra time to prepare for the Porto home leg, ahead of the April 14 home game against Chelsea.
Liverpool then travel to Portugal ahead of an April 21 trip to relegation-haunted Cardiff. And then end the month by playing Huddersfield at home.
It certainly seems a more manageable schedule, at precisely the time when limbs are crying out for mercy.
Klopp will not claim he has had the best of it. But he will know it is the case.