Liverpool put aside domestic woes as they took control of their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig with a 2-0 win in the first leg in Budapest. It’s a timely turnaround in fortunes.
Head coach Jurgen Klopp may say that Liverpool’s Premier League title defence is already over, but the Reds now look likely to reach the last eight in the Champions League, a competition they won under Klopp in 2019, unless Leipzig play the game of their lives in the second leg. It’s fair to say this win keeps their season alive.
Both of Liverpool’s goals came in the second half from defensive gaffes. Firstly, Mo Salah capitalised on a poor back pass by Marcel Sabitzer to slot home in the 53rd minute, and five minutes later Sadio Mane pounced after Nordi Mukiele’s slip-up.
Thereafter, Liverpool were hardly troubled – new loan signing Ozan Kabak was particularly impressive at the back, more than making up for his shaky debut display against Leicester at the weekend. Alisson looked like his reliable former self in goal, and youngster Curtis Jones shone in midfield as well. There were positives for Klopp all over the pitch.
“It was a really good game against a really good side,” Klopp said.
“It was the game we wanted, the game we needed. Leipzig can be a real monster – they overrun teams, they are really physical and tonight we controlled them in an exceptional way.”
Man of the match: Mo Salah (Liverpool)