Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane inspired Liverpool to a 2-0 victory over RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash at the Puskas Arena on Tuesday evening.
Jurgen Klopp made one change to his side that were defeated by Leicester City this past weekend as Thiago came in for the injured James Miler, and captain Jordan Henderson was tasked with playing at the heart of the defence alongside new signing Ozan Kabak.
Leipzig nearly broke the deadlock in the sixth minute when Angelino played a clever ball into the path of Dani Olmo, who fired his powerful header against the post.
The Reds had their first real chance in the 15th minute as Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped a ball into the box, but Gulacsi stood tall to block the ball to safety. However, it dropped into the path of Roberto Firimino, who fired his effort into the side-netting from a tight angle.
A quick switch of play by Leipzig brought Sabitzer into the game two minutes later as he had Angelino on the overlap, but decided to have a go at goal only for Alisson to get behind the ball.
Liverpool had a chance to take the lead in the 25th minute as Salam dictated play to release Firmino down the channel, who dinked the ball in the six-yard box towards Saudi Mane, but the Senegalese forward couldn’t divert his header on target.
The visitors should have have done better two minutes later when Alexander-Arnold played a pass to Firmino in the box, but he could only fire his effort wide of the post from close range.
Robertson came even closer in the 32nd minute when he unleashed a strike from 40 yards out to try to catch Gulasci off his line, but the full back couldn’t find the target.
Liverpool thought they had taken the lead when they found the net four minutes later, but the Firmino header was disallowed after the assistant referee signalled his flag as the ball had gone out of play.
The game went into half time with the scoreline locked at 0-0.
The German side started the second half with great energy as Olmo threaded a wonderful pass in behind Henderson for Nkunku, with only Allison to beat – but the goalkeeper stood tall to block his effort behind for a corner.
The Reds eventually took the lead in the 53rd minute when Sabitzer played a lacklustre pass back to Klostermann, which turned into the perfect pass for Salah, alive to the mistake and slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
Liverpool then doubled their lead five minutes later as Mane had a clear run through on goal to find the back of the net in a one-on-one situation with the Leipzig keeper.
Leipzig had two chances to reduce the deficit between the 61st and 63rd minutes, but Angelino and Olmo couldn’t capitilise.
Liverpool should have extending their lead further in the 71st minute when Firimino triggered a counter-attack with a wonderful change of pace and found Salah on the right, who spotted Mane in the box, but his touch let him down as the ball ran through to the goalkeeper.
Klopp then opted to bring on fresh legs in the 72nd minute as Oxlade-Chamberlain and Shaqiri came on for Firmino and Thiago before Neco Williams replaced Salah in stoppage time.
Leipzig had a chance to bag a consolation goal deep in stoppage time but Hwang’s effort sailed just wide of the far post as Liverpool held on to secure the win in the first leg.
You may also like